Troy Davis... What do you think?

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Troy Davis... What do you think?

Post  Indie on Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:14 pm

Ga inmate's execution nears; protests worldwide By GREG BLUESTEIN


The Associated Press

ATLANTA — Troy Davis supporters in the U.S. and Europe were trying just about anything to spare him from lethal injection Wednesday evening for killing an off-duty Georgia policeman, a crime he and others have insisted for years that he did not commit.

Georgia's pardons board on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011, rejected clemency for Davis despite high-profile support for his claim that he was wrongly convicted of killing MacPhail in 1989. Davis is set to die on Wednesday, Sept. 21. It is the fourth time in four years his execution has been scheduled by Georgia officials.


Hundreds of protesters gather at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta to protest the execution of Troy Anthony Davis on Tuesday Sept. 20, 2011. The state parole board has denied Davis clemency and the execution is set for Wednesday for the murder of an off-duty Savannah police officer in 1989. (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal & Constitution, Curtis Compton) MARIETTA DAILY OUT; GWINNETT DAILY POST OUT

The 42-year-old's most realistic, though slim, chance for reprieve is through the courts, and his lawyers are trying. His backers have tried increasingly frenzied measures: offering for Davis to take a polygraph test, urging prison workers to strike or call in sick, posting a judge's phone number online, urging people to call and ask him to put a stop to the 7 p.m. execution. They've even considered a desperate appeal for White House intervention.

"We're trying everything we can do, everything under the law," said Chester Dunham, a civil rights activist and talk show host protesting in Savannah, where in 1989, prosecutors say Davis fatally shot 27-year-old Mark MacPhail.

Davis' supporters include former President Jimmy Carter, Pope Benedict XVI and a former FBI director, the NAACP, as well as conservative figures. The U.S. Supreme Court even gave him an unusual opportunity to prove his innocence last year, but ultimately didn't hear the merits of the case.

Several witnesses have recanted their accounts that it was Davis who pulled the trigger, and some jurors have said they've changed their minds about his guilt. Still, prosecutors and MacPhail's family have staunchly backed the verdict and state and federal courts have repeatedly upheld his conviction.

MacPhail was working security at a bus station on Aug. 19, 1989, and rushed to the aid of Larry Young, a homeless man who prosecutors say Davis was bashing with a handgun after asking him for a beer. When MacPhail got there, they say Davis had a smirk on his face as he shot the officer to death in a Burger King parking lot. Others have claimed the man with Davis that night has told people he actually shot the officer.

No gun was ever found, but shell casings were linked, prosecutors say, to an earlier shooting for which Davis was convicted. Witnesses placed Davis at the crime scene and identified him as the shooter. However, no other physical evidence was found, including blood or DNA, that tied Davis to the crime.

As time ticked toward the execution, an upbeat and prayerful Davis turned down an offer for a special last meal and planned to spend his final hours meeting with friends, family and supporters. Meanwhile, two attempts to prove his innocence were rejected: a polygraph test and another hearing before the pardons board.

His attorney Stephen Marsh said Davis would only submit to a polygraph test if pardons officials would take it seriously.

"He doesn't want to spend three hours away from his family on what could be the last day of his life if it won't make any difference," Marsh said.

His lawyers, meanwhile, are trying the legal avenues left to them, filing a motion in a county court challenging the ballistics evidence and eyewitness testimony. A judge could at least delay the execution, which has happened three times before. Most believe arguments on the merits of the case have been exhausted, however.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which has helped lead the charge to stop the execution, said it was considering asking President Barack Obama to intervene. Obama cannot grant Davis clemency since it was a state conviction, but could potentially halt the execution by asking for an investigation into a federal issue if one exists, though that was unlikely, said Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center.

In Savannah, 16 Davis supporters gathered at the Chatham County courthouse to press District Attorney Larry Chisolm to help stop Davis' execution. They said 240,000 people had signed petitions urging the state to spare Davis' life, and delivered them in three large boxes to Chisolm's courthouse office where they were received by a member of the prosecutor's staff. Chisolm has said he's powerless to intervene, but activists say they believe he has enough influence as district attorney to sway the outcome.

As for the new and changed accounts by some witnesses, an unmoved federal judge dismissed them during a hearing set up by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2010. He said while the "new evidence casts some additional, minimal doubt on his conviction, it is largely smoke and mirrors."

It was the first time in 50 years that justices had considered a request to grant a new trial for a death row inmate. It set a tough standard for Davis to exonerate himself, ruling his attorneys must "clearly establish" Davis' innocence — a higher bar to meet than prosecutors having to prove guilt.

Once the hearing judge made his ruling, the justices didn't take up the case.

Prosecutors say they have no doubt they charged the right person, and MacPhail's family lobbied the pardons board Monday to reject Davis' clemency appeal. The board refused to stop the execution a day later.

"He has had ample time to prove his innocence," said MacPhail's widow, Joan MacPhail-Harris. "And he is not innocent."

In Europe, where the planned execution has drawn widespread criticism, politicians and activists were making a last-minute appeal to the state of Georgia to refrain from executing Davis. Amnesty International and other groups planned a protest outside the U.S. Embassy in Paris later Wednesday and Amnesty also called a vigil outside the U.S. Embassy in London.

Parliamentarians and government ministers from the Council of Europe, the continent's human rights watchdog, called for Davis' sentence to be commuted. Renate Wohlwend of the Council's Parliamentary Assembly said that "to carry out this irrevocable act now would be a terrible mistake which could lead to a tragic injustice."

Spencer Lawton, the district attorney who secured Davis' conviction in 1991, however, said he was embarrassed for the judicial system that the execution has taken so long.

"What we have had is a manufactured appearance of doubt which has taken on the quality of legitimate doubt itself. And all of it is exquisitely unfair," said Lawton, who retired as Chatham County's head prosecutor in 2008. "The good news is we live in a civilized society where questions like this are decided based on fact in open and transparent courts of law, and not on street corners."

The latest motion filed in Butts County Court on Wednesday disputes testimony from a Georgia Bureau of Investigation expert at Davis' 1991 trial. It claims his testimony is no longer reliable that shell casings found at the scene of MacPhail's murder were linked to those found at the scene of another shooting for which Davis was convicted.

It also challenged testimony from Harriet Murray, an eyewitness who at trial identified Davis as the shooter. And it said evidence from another witness, Kevin McQueen, who said Davis confessed the killing to him is "patently false" and unreliable.

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Re: Troy Davis... What do you think?

Post  SunSet Rivers on Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:07 pm

Negros kill me...
Why in the Sam Houston would you lie under oath and now try to recant your testimony. His blood is on their hands. I haven't heard of this yet or if I have I don't remember it. I don't watch the news often.
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Re: Troy Davis... What do you think?

Post  54495-319145 on Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:44 pm

I am opposed to capitol punishment point blank period...

it has never proved to be a deterent to violent crime...

it's usually reserved for those who occupy a lower income bracket...

and it's morally unsound...

whether he did it or not, we'll never know...

that's the great flaw in our judicial system...

people can be intimidated, pressured and coerced into making accusations/statements which are lies are not completely accurate...

this is not a system, where i feel comfortable with making life or death decisions...

once you kill someone you cannot bring them back...

the judicial annals are filled with numerous cases where dna evidence has overturned convictions of people sentenced to death...

it's a sad state of affairs when a society that professes to be so damn civilized resorts to such barbaric practices in the name of exacting justice...
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Re: Troy Davis... What do you think?

Post  SunSet Rivers on Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:56 pm

I've never thought of how I feel about capital punishment before. I think if I had to call it at the moment I would be on the fence. You are right though, about being comfortable making that kind of decision with the way our system runs and all its flaws. For 'people' to have the power to decide who lives and who dies. I remember everyone being upset about Tookie (sp?) as well. They really need to look at it when you see how many sentences have been overturned. I guess when they try your case as a 'death sentence' case your ass is pretty much grass.
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Re: Troy Davis... What do you think?

Post  Indie on Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:59 am

i consider Obama's silence on this issue just as bad as Bush's silence during Katrina. And if he had no right to take someone's life wtf gave you the right to take his?!?!?!?!
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Re: Troy Davis... What do you think?

Post  SunSet Rivers on Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:20 am

Indie wrote:i consider Obama's silence on this issue just as bad as Bush's silence during Katrina. And if he had no right to take someone's life wtf gave you the right to take his?!?!?!?!

What do you want to hear him say on the subject?
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Re: Troy Davis... What do you think?

Post  Indie on Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:22 am

SunSet Rivers wrote:
Indie wrote:i consider Obama's silence on this issue just as bad as Bush's silence during Katrina. And if he had no right to take someone's life wtf gave you the right to take his?!?!?!?!

What do you want to hear him say on the subject?

idk!
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Re: Troy Davis... What do you think?

Post  SunSet Rivers on Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:30 am

Indie wrote:
SunSet Rivers wrote:
Indie wrote:i consider Obama's silence on this issue just as bad as Bush's silence during Katrina. And if he had no right to take someone's life wtf gave you the right to take his?!?!?!?!

What do you want to hear him say on the subject?

idk!

I think sometimes you have to be quiet. Just because you are in a 'position' doesn't mean you have to have your hands in everything. That's why you have staff and hire people to make certain decision as well. Unfortunately the system does not always work or make sense but it is what it is. You can't have an opinion on one person's plight and not another, I think for him to say something this time means he would (and future people in that position) have to say something everytime and so on and so forth.
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Re: Troy Davis... What do you think?

Post  Indie on Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:36 am

eff him! Mad
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Re: Troy Davis... What do you think?

Post  SunSet Rivers on Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:37 am

Indie wrote:eff him! Mad

Right. I'm glad I'm not in that position, a position of power or on the 'your ass is grass' position.
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Re: Troy Davis... What do you think?

Post  54495-319145 on Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:12 am

there are far too many variables at play for capitol punishment to be deemed fair...

for instance do you believe a person convicted of a crime from an impoverished community, represented by a public defender has an equal chance of escaping the death penalty as another person from an affluent one convicted of the same crime yet has the resources to attain high price legal representation?

should it matter who represents the convicted?

should their background, level of affluence, religion, race of sex be factors?

what is the ratio of violent women offenders on death row compared to men?

if something is supposedly done in the name of fairness and justice then there should not be one ounce of partiality about it...

as far as Obama is concerned, I don't necessarily believe he should have spoken out...

i think when making decisions like that, he's more likely to consider who he might offend as opposed to who he should defend...

in a perfect world we would have leaders who step up and do the right thing regardless of who they might offend...

but Obama being a pawn in the political machine does as all pawns are accustomed to do, follow the script given to them...

and that comment has very little if anything to do with his not speaking out about this issue as much as it has to do with many of the questionable and callous decisions that have taken place under his watch...
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Re: Troy Davis... What do you think?

Post  SunSet Rivers on Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:19 am

someone sounds like a sociologist up in here...
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Re: Troy Davis... What do you think?

Post  54495-319145 on Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:15 pm

SunSet Rivers wrote:someone sounds like a sociologist up in here...

a nigga can't have an opinion without people getting so dayum technical...
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Re: Troy Davis... What do you think?

Post  SunSet Rivers on Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:48 pm

54495-319145 wrote:
SunSet Rivers wrote:someone sounds like a sociologist up in here...

a nigga can't have an opinion without people getting so dayum technical...

A**
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Re: Troy Davis... What do you think?

Post  54495-319145 on Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:51 pm

SunSet Rivers wrote:
54495-319145 wrote:
SunSet Rivers wrote:someone sounds like a sociologist up in here...

a nigga can't have an opinion without people getting so dayum technical...

A**

now you're an English teacher
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Re: Troy Davis... What do you think?

Post  SunSet Rivers on Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:53 pm

54495-319145 wrote:
SunSet Rivers wrote:
54495-319145 wrote:
SunSet Rivers wrote:someone sounds like a sociologist up in here...

a nigga can't have an opinion without people getting so dayum technical...

A**

now you're an English teacher

no, that's me calling you an ass. I was trying to be diplomatic about it squid worth
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Re: Troy Davis... What do you think?

Post  54495-319145 on Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:55 pm

i've been called worse

fuck diplomacy
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Re: Troy Davis... What do you think?

Post  SunSet Rivers on Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:03 pm

54495-319145 wrote:i've been called worse

fuck diplomacy

I'm sure you have been called worse...
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Re: Troy Davis... What do you think?

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