Fed. Appeals Court Stays Troy Davis Execution

Good news out of Georgia:

A federal appeals court gave a last-minute reprieve Friday to a Georgia man set to be executed for the 1989 killing of an off-duty police officer even though several witnesses have changed their accounts of the crime.

Troy Davis, 40, was scheduled to be executed Monday. But the three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered defense attorneys and prosecutors to draft briefs that address whether Davis can meet "stringent requirements" to pursue the next round of appeals.

Amnesty International has background and in a press release today (no link yet) says: [More...]

"Amnesty International is heartened to learn of today's stay of execution from the Eleventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Until this point, the compelling issues in this case have been virtually ignored, leaving Georgia vulnerable to the possibility of killing an innocent man. The Court must be commended for serving as the fail safe for justice."

Our coverage of Troy Davis is assembled here.

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    Let justice roll! (none / 0) (#1)
    by mg7505 on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 12:32:53 PM EST
    I can't imagine what Troy Davis and family have been going through -- racism and backwards legal thinking have pushed this poor man to death's door.

    Jeralyn, how do you rate the odds that Davis' execution is dismissed altogether (or that he exonerated)? Given Georgia's legal system, I fear that they may just be delaying the inevitable.

    Thoughts and prayers with Davis, his family and supporters.

    If he's guilty, is it justice? (none / 0) (#3)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 06:00:23 PM EST
    Yes, because it is (none / 0) (#4)
    by mg7505 on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 06:02:11 PM EST
    unjust to use the death penalty as a means of punishment, in my mind. Of course people are free to disagree on that.

    Fair enough. (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 06:34:39 PM EST
    The world judges us . . . (none / 0) (#2)
    by Doc Rock on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 01:36:05 PM EST
    . . . in no small measure by how we mete out justice.  Our reputation has declined steadily over the last seventy-five years or more.

    the 11th Circuit's opinion (none / 0) (#6)
    by sef on Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 08:27:00 PM EST
    The stay order is simply brilliant in that it is written in such dense legalese as baffle lay readers and accessible enough for lawyers to know exactly what they are saying.  Specifically, the panel's order appears to read we think that Troy is likely innocent, we don't want to live with the idea of executing a man who is more likely than not innocent, however, we also believe AEDPA doesn't permit us to give him a new trial on his innocence claims.  Troy appears headed for what is effectively a commutation of his sentence based on innocence but not a new trial based on his innocence.

    Does anyone else get the sense that if a cop wasn't dead here (and by all accounts the kind of cop we all want on the beat in our part of town, a good guy)Troy would have received a new trial long ago with the consent of the State.