Is Georgia About to Execute an Innocent Man?

Georgia has scheduled the execution of Troy Anthony Davis for July 17. He may be innocent.

Davis' supporters believe he is innocent and the human rights organization Amnesty International believe Davis could be innocent because there was no physical evidence in the Davis case, and no murder weapon found.

Out of the nine prosecution witnesses who testified against Davis, seven have now recanted most of their testimony that was used to convict Davis for murder. Jurors stated that they were not aware that most of the witnesses were pressured and coerced by police into signing the affidavits that were used against Davis. One witness reported that he had not even read what he signed. The National Coalition to Abolish The Death Penalty is also supporting Davis.

Amnesty International released a press release on the Davis case, and Judge Rosemary Barkett of the 11th Circuit Federal Appeals Court said "If these people say, 'I was coerced by the police,' how could he [Judge Nangle] reject without a hearing?"

Much more information is available here.

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    Gives me a horrible headache (none / 0) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 01:47:32 PM EST
    If it can happen to one it can happen to anyone. Don't know how you work around this 24/7.

    Why doesn't the White House.... (none / 0) (#2)
    by landjjames on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 01:49:48 PM EST
    step in and do something about this sentence? Oh, excuse me - I forgot.  They don't care about regular folks who have a sentence that is really too severe!

    I'm sorry, are we supposed to question (none / 0) (#3)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 02:12:29 PM EST
    One witness reported that he had not even read what he signed.
    his original signed statement because he couldn't read it, but not question his new signed statement - that he also cannot read - that states that he cannot read?!
    Despite his uncertainty, the police took his statement and he was called to testify in the trial. "After the officers talked to me, they gave me a statement and told me to sign it. I signed it. I did not read it because I cannot read."
    Also, I assume his testimony under oath during the trial must have pretty much backed up exactly whatever his original signed statement said, so I'm not sure what the issue with his signed statement actually is...

    Anyway, somebody shot and killed a cop in a very public place. And it seems almost, if not all, of the many "witnesses" (and Davis himself) were/are involved in lives of crime, often violent crime, such that they all had something to gain - or not lose, even - by cooperating, perhaps a little too well, with the police.

    Having no access to the original source material of his trial and only having access to present-day websites and such who's whole purpose is to try to stop the execution gives us a very one-sided view.

    That said, the witnesses seem (now anyway) to be completely non-credible, and I support him getting a re-trial so any recanting testimonies will be made under oath.

    interesting (none / 0) (#4)
    by cpinva on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 05:16:07 PM EST
    supposedly, there was no "physical evidence" in the case. however, just from what i've read here, and in the first linked article, i know that to be a false assertion.

    there was, at minimum, two critical pieces of physical evidence at the crime scene: 1. the bullet that killed the off-duty officer., and 2. mr. davis' hands, which should have been checked for gun powder residue.

    since there was no indication that either of these items was taken into account, or an explanation as to why they weren't, it seems that the local authorities did a shoddy job of investigation. perhaps, that might explain their need to "buff" up witnesses?

    recantations and perjury (none / 0) (#5)
    by diogenes on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 06:09:27 PM EST
    I wonder if any of the seven witnesses who recanted their testimony will be charged with perjury?

    This guy needs a new trial. (none / 0) (#6)
    by david seth on Thu Jul 05, 2007 at 08:09:20 PM EST
    I admit I have a bias (I think he's innocent).

    We're going to continue to have this kind of appalling story as long as we have the death penalty.  As long as we have the death penalty, we're going to have jailhouse snitch testimony, death cases in which there's no DNA, recantations, secret deals, the whole panoply of abuse adding up to a state killing.

    I doubt the abuses will ever be completely stopped;  ending the death penalty is the only way I can imagine preventing the death of somebody who's innocent, somebody like Troy Davis.

    i have no clue if he's guilty or innocent, (none / 0) (#7)
    by cpinva on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 04:35:51 AM EST
    since i haven't all the facts. however, it seems that was the case all along, with the authorities and the jury.

    the complete lack of forensic evidence, in a murder, should be reason enough to question the state's case, absent a really, really good reason for it.

    death by ineptitude kind of sucks.

    If the Wilson case in any indication.... (none / 0) (#8)
    by kdog on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 08:43:20 AM EST
    Georgia justice just don't give a damn about getting it right...

    The death penalty is inherently cruel (none / 0) (#9)
    by rightsbased on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 09:33:38 AM EST
    regardless of the crime or perpetrator.

    It should be abolished. End of story.

    What about universal human rights is so frickin difficult, people?

    It's time for the US to join the civilised world.

    That's nut of it. (none / 0) (#10)
    by Edger on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 10:46:22 AM EST
    What about universal human rights is so frickin difficult, people?

    The wingnut logic of it.

    Universal human rights is unpatriotic, unamerican and emboldens terrists.

    Universal human rights means having no excuses left for hate, racism, bigotry, 2nd grade "mine!!!" foreign policies.

    Why does the left want to take away GAWD given rights?

    And you don't get to kill ni*gers and giggle and feel righteous about it without those annoying America hating left wing radicals trying to make you feel guilty about it.

    Whether you're in Georgia or you're in Iraq: "The only thing these sand ni*gers understand is force and I'm about to introduce them to it."

    Why can't they be civil and show us some respect??? "I can handle things! I'm smart! Not like everybody says... like dumb... I'm smart and I want respect!" -- Fredo Corleone

    And if we want to have a little good clean fun by hanging innocent people, what's the fricking problem wid dat, hunh?

    If Troy Anthony Davis was innocent he wouldn't have been on death row for 17 frickin years anyway. Right???

    Besides, he's black.

    Jeezuz Frickin Christ. What don't you get? This is an existential clash of cultures.

    We gotta kill 'em all afore they kill us'n all.

    If we don't fight 'em and kill 'em in Georgia, we'll have to fight 'em and kill 'em in....


    (just saving the wingnuts the trouble)