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Troy Davis executed

A crowd of several hundred protesters sits on the ground Wednesday at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta to protest the execution of Troy Anthony Davis.

A crowd of several hundred protesters sits on the ground Wednesday at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta to protest the execution of Troy Anthony Davis.

JACKSON — Georgia inmate Troy Davis has been executed for the killing of an off-duty police officer in a case that has drawn worldwide support over his claims of innocence. Courts consistently ruled against him, however, and members of the officer’s family say they finally have justice after 22 years.

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Troy Davis

The Supreme Court rejected an eleventh-hour appeal from Davis to prevent Georgia authorities from executing him for the murder of an off-duty police officer.

The court did not comment on its order late Wednesday, four hours after receiving the last-ditch request.

The filing by Davis’ lawyers came after state officials refused to grant Davis a reprieve in the face of calls for clemency from former President Jimmy Carter, Pope Benedict XVI and others.

The high court previously granted Davis a stay of execution in 2008 and ordered a court hearing the following year to give Davis a chance to establish his innocence. A federal judge said Davis failed to do so, and the justices refused to review that finding.

Large protests in support of Georgia death row inmate Davis sprung up from the state Capitol to the White House on Wednesday, as the hour of his execution neared pending a final appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

After four years of legal battles, Wednesday appeared to be the last chance for Davis’ supporters to rally in an effort to spare his life. They huddled at vigils, chanted at demonstrations and hoisted placards proclaiming his innocence in the 1989 slaying of off-duty Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail.

The largest of the gatherings appeared to be outside the state prison in Jackson, home to Georgia’s death row, where preparations were under way for his execution by lethal injection. The U.S. Supreme Court was considering a final effort to halt the execution.

Davis’ family arrived at the prison to cheers from the crowd of supporters. The family held hands with backers and prayed with them as a police helicopter hovered overhead.

With the crowd swelling to more than 500 protesters, authorities dispatched several dozen police in riot gear to keep a watchful eye. A small crowd of MacPhail supporters was also on hand, including Dawn Dalton, who said her old childhood friend died a hero.

“Twenty-two years is a long time,” Dalton said. “We’re here to support him, and I’m here to support the family.”

At the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, where justices were weighing Davis’ fate Wednesday night, protesters outside chanted, “They say death row; we say hell no.”

In Atlanta, a crowd of several hundred people gathered near the steps of the Georgia Capitol.

“I think it’s an outrage. They’re about to kill an innocent man,” said David Ferguson, 56, of Atlanta.

Billy Moore, who spent years on death row in Georgia before his sentence was commuted, said there should be reconsideration in Davis’ case.

“In this case, there is so much doubt and our Constitution says no one should be convicted if there is any doubt,” Moore said. “Well, there is doubt in this case. We’ve waited 20 years. What is another year? What does it matter in time if you are trying to find the truth?”

Demonstrations happened as far away as Paris, where some 150 people gathered to voice their support for Davis. In Washington, D.C., dozens of protesters rallied outside the White House, many from historically black Howard University, in hopes of last-minute intervention from President Obama. At least 12 protestors were arrested, police said.

Davis, 42, has insisted he’s innocent and his pending execution was stopped three times since 2007. The courts repeatedly upheld his conviction. In the process, Davis gained thousands of supporters worldwide.

In Savannah, where Davis was sentenced to die, a small crowd of 25 people stood outside City Hall Wednesday night carrying placards opposing the death penalty. Earlier in the day, 16 Davis supporters delivered three boxes of petitions to District Attorney Larry Chisolm, saying they had 240,000 signatures supporting clemency for Davis.

The Rev. Al Sharpton was among the civil rights leaders who rallied supporters at the prison in Jackson.

“I feel a mixture of outrage and sadness, sadness because we may lose a life of someone who’s not been proven to be guilty,” Sharpton said.

Rashaan Sharif, 62, lives in metro Atlanta and only recently heard about the case on the radio. When he heard Davis supporters would be rallying outside the prison in solidarity, he decided to join them.

“I took off from work and I’m losing a day’s pay, but it’s a worthy cause,” he said. “It’s definitely a worthy cause. People need to stand up for truth and justice.”

A small group of MacPhail family supporters also gathered at the prison.

Janet Reisenwitz has family members who are police officers, and she said she was surprised more didn’t show up. She said she was there because “justice will be served tonight.”

“They are grasping for straws and I would be too,” the 55-year-old said of Davis supporters. “But all it does is delay justice and clog up the criminal justice system.”

Outside the White House, protesters paused for a moment of silence, lifting their fists in the air and singing and cheering as fellow protesters were arrested.

“The fact that the White House hasn’t addressed this issue is completely disrespectful,” said Talibah Arnett, 20, a Howard junior.

Cassandra Bowler, 21, another Howard student said the protest was about more than Troy Davis.

“This fight is about the death penalty in 21st century America,” Bowler said.

In Europe, where plans to execute Davis have drawn widespread criticism, lawmakers and activists made a last-minute appeal to Georgia officials to spare the inmate.

Renate Wohlwend of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly noted doubts raised about Davis’ conviction. She said that “to carry out this irrevocable act now would be a terrible mistake which could lead to a tragic injustice.”

Comments

Moe 3 years ago

How do I get a sign that says "It was in MY name"?

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Itsjustthattime 3 years ago

Im really glad that the courts heard what that JURY had to say back then ! Its sad when you have all those people out in support of something that they know nothing about, The person that got killed in this case did not have all those supporters marching and making phone calls trying to save his life. Our justice system has worked again just very slow in doing it ..... "IT WAS IN MY NAME" !

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sonmaxx 3 years ago

I think that it is really sad that the American judicial system has lost its value of in God We Trust. The case of Troy Davis by far has been proven to be just the opposite. What happened to innocent until proven guilty. His innocence was proven before his death occured and yet the judicial system still sought to kill a man all in the name of justice. Well, it makes me think of our Lord and Savior Jesus was falsely accused, tried and then sentenced to death, only for those in the end to realize that HE was innocent. It's something to think about. In this case everyone has suffered but we must all remember, whether right or wrong, no matter our involvement with this case or not, WE all will have to give an account of what we have done or failed to do. America needs to go back to her roots. We were not created upon principles of "In Our Name " or "What we believe to Be Right:" 2nd Chronicles 7:14 tells us what we need to do as a people. It behoves us to take heed.

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bubbavet 3 years ago

THE BLIND LEADING THE BLIND. HE WAS GIVEN MORE THAN ENOUGH CHANCES TO PROVE HE WAS INNOCENT.YOU USING THE LORD FOR YOUR LIES WILL COST YOU AND YOUR FAMILY IF YOU DON'T GET YOUR HEART RIGHT.

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billythekid 3 years ago

Is it just me, or did anyone else notice that Troy Davis NOT ONCE thanked his supporters and the people fighting for him?

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bubbavet 3 years ago

"HE DIED A HERO" WHAT AN IDIOT. HE WAS A MURDERER WHO LIVED 22 YEARS TOO LONG AT TAXPAYERS EXPENSE .

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supersquawker 3 years ago

Hey Bubba I think the hero part was intended for MacPhail, not the criminal.

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supersquawker 3 years ago

You can always count on leeches like Rev. Al to be there.

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TrixibelleBento 3 years ago

He's had 22 years...if you can't prove your case in 22 years, then something's wrong.

I thought we found people guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt", not "any" doubt. Reasonable is a word that has different meanings for different people. Anyone can bring up ridiculous theories that can cast doubt. Just look at Casey Anthony.

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Itsjustthattime 3 years ago

Like i said before, all this stuff from people that know nothing about any of this. Maybe if just a little of the facts were to come out or if some of the people that supported this killer would read up on this case, they mite be in for a SHOCK! This man shot two people on the same day useing the SAME gun.... O and i see we the people are fixing to put another killer to death on OCTOBER 5 !!!! Lets see how many bleeding harts are going to call and try to stop this killer from being put to death

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Still_Here 3 years ago

I bet he was a good boy when he way growing up.

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firefly 3 years ago

Yep, just like those four boys that shot that man in Dawson....

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Patrick2K 3 years ago

Dear so-called Christians, I see that the Ten Commandments are just suggestions that can be ignored when it suits you. I'm sure the answer to "WWJD" is "by lethal injection".

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chinaberry25 3 years ago

In all said and done, he was there when the crime was committed. I know very little about the story, but it has been reviewed by many folks who said that there was enough evidence. As far as going back to our roots, are you talking about the folks who hanged you for stealing a horse. Be more definitive. As far as I am concerned, we are still the best nation in the world. Any one anytime has the right to leave if you do not like it. Until recently, less than 15% of folks even bothered to vote or even register. Do you know what the main excuse for registering to vote, I would have to serve on the jury. This was fact during the time Davis was convicted.

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Margie 3 years ago

The case is a sad one for all involved. It is one that no one should boast about or give out kudos. Both famiyl lost their love one, and have suffered much as a result. I am imagine that the family of the officer wanted closed and justice for their son, and I can also imagine the family of the other, not wanted their son to die for something that he really didn't do. Getting new trials and good lawyers are difficult, when the resources are not there. Just imagine youself on either side of the fence, it either were your family. If Davis killed this the officer and continued to lie, until his death, death by lethal injection was on the beginning. But, if he truly dies an innocent man, then other will answer to a HIGHER calling when they stand before the ONLY true Judge. Of course, if years to come, that it it known that he he is innocent, he would have left his family very wealth. But, I dare not judge because the case is so sad.

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