Troy Davis: GA Board Rejects Clemency

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole has rejected clemency for Troy Davis.

His legal appeals are exhausted, so his latest last-ditch effort before the parole board appears to be his last chance to be spared execution.

No appeal to the Supreme Court allowed?

Good read: Andrew Cohen's The Death Penalty: Why We Fight for Equal Justice.

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    I have to go to Georgia in three weeks (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Dadler on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 09:51:39 AM EST
    Now I really never want to set foot in the state again.  Unfortunately my father lives there.  

    Hope those on the clemency board get sh*t on by some birds today, or better yet, well, I won't go there.  But, I have to say, it takes some very soulless people to want to sit on that board, when they NEVER seem to be needed for anything but loading the state's gun.  

    And I have to say, while I obviously appreciate and comprehend the pain the family of the victim are going through (someone was murdered in our family when I was 12, and I remember that open casket funeral to this day, I ran out of it weeping, and no one was ever charged in the crime), but when that many witnesses recant, you have lost an essential part of your humanity to want this execution to continue.  That they don't even consider what it will do to them, or their son's memory, to kill a potentially innocent man (which has occurred more than once in this country in recent history, rest assured) is kind of astounding.  They have to believe all those witnesses are recanting for no other reason that to hurt the victim's family.  The irrationality is clear on all sides of this.

    For shame, for shame.


    I saw the victim's daughter on a (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Anne on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 10:33:39 AM EST
    news report the other day, and I had to wonder if she ever asks herself whether the brief moment of satisfaction she thinks she will get when Davis is executed will be worth it if, in fact, Davis isn't guilty.

    I just kept thinking, "you're not going to feel as good about this as you think you are, even if Davis is guilty, and when you come to realize that the injustice of your father's innocent life being taken is no greater than the injustice of a possibly innocent man's life being taken to pay for it, it will be too late to right that wrong, and you will carry that burden for the rest of your life."  


    It is hard to bend one's mind (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by MKS on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 11:20:11 AM EST
    arouund this.

    That the person to be executed may be innocent does not slow these people down?

    Maybe it would be a good idea (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Edger on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 04:05:35 PM EST
    if prosecutors like Chatham County District Attorney Larry Chisolm should have to, as part of their job qualification, be required to first personally experience any sentence they want to request for a defendant.

    Chatham County District Attorney Larry Chisolm is the man who requested the death warrant against Troy Davis, and he is in a unique position to petition the judge to withdraw the death warrant against Troy.

    Since Troy Davis's conviction, the facts of the case have changed dramatically. The evidence in the Troy Davis case has always been circumstantial due to a lack of relevant physical evidence and no murder weapon. The conviction was based almost wholly on witness testimony, and seven of the nine witnesses have recanted their testimony or changed their story.

    In light of this knowledge, the evidence used to convict Troy Davis appears even weaker.

    Sign the petition to District Attorney Larry Chisolm today. Tell him an innocent life hangs in the balance, and he has your support in preventing Troy Davis' execution by coming forward to ask the Judge to withdraw the death warrant against Troy.

    Petition here: http://action.naacp.org/page/s/petition-larry-chisolm

    Georgia Pardons & Parole Board number: 404.656.5651 - you have to hit "0" on all 3 menu options. At least one operator hangs up immediately if you say Troy Davis. One at least is "noting objections."

    Chatham County's District Attorney's office by phone/fax: Telephone: 912-652-7308 Fax: 912-652-7328

    The NACCP may not be correct (none / 0) (#11)
    by jbindc on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 12:53:10 PM EST
    According to a professor at John Marshall Law School and who has challenged the death penalty for decades:

    Q. Can the Chatham County district attorney ask the judge who signed the death warrant to withdraw it?

    Mike Mears said probably not. "I don't think there is a legal mechanism to ask a judge for a do over," he said.


    Chisolm late Tuesday said the matter was "beyond our control."

    "The district attorney does not have the power or authority to withdraw an execution order," Chisolm said, adding there's no requirement for him to be a party to seek such an order.

    "Superior court judges can issue the order without the involvement of the DA," Chisolm said. "The DA's office does not have exclusive control over any phase of the process."

    So, this petition, while probably well intentioned, appears to be useless except for the media attention it's generating. Seems like they should focus their efforts on getting a judge to rescind the order - soemone who actually has the authority to do so.


    As to when the U.S. Supreme Court can (none / 0) (#1)
    by Peter G on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 09:34:54 AM EST
    intervene ... the Supreme Court can grant a stay only when there is a challenge to the validity of the sentence (or the underlying conviction) pending in some federal court (including the Supreme Court itself), or in a state court that could lead to a federal appeal.  In the Davis case, I think there is no such court appeal - of any kind - pending or available anymore.

    The Supreme Court (none / 0) (#12)
    by jbindc on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 01:31:08 PM EST
    Granted Davis a rare opportunity last year to prove his innocence, but his defense lawyers failed him.  This was the first time in over 50 years the Supreme Court granted a death row inmate such a hearing. Davis' defense team relied on the theory that someone else committed the murder, but then failed to subpoena that person in time to testify, and instead they mistakenly assumed that the judge would allow hearsay testimony into evidence to clear their client.

    Davis has also had (by my count, but I could be wrong), 4 petitions for writs of certiorari to the Supreme Court, one in 2009 that led to the evidentiary hearing directing the lower court to "receive testimony and make findings of fact as to whether evidence that could not have been obtained at the time of trial clearly establishe[d] [Davis'] innocence."


    Georgia can be proud of its leadership (none / 0) (#2)
    by scribe on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 09:41:56 AM EST
    position in the field of politically-sanctioned and -driven murders.

    May the members of that parole board be haunted by the injustice they've wrought for the rest of their miserable lives.

    again, is Wikipedia wrong? (none / 0) (#6)
    by diogenes on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 02:01:43 PM EST
    Under Troy Davis case article,
    ""Davis was given an opportunity to present new evidence at a hearing in federal court in Savannah in June 2010, but he put on only a paucity of testimony. He did not take the stand in his defense and did not call Sylvester Coles as a witness. He also did not call some of the other witnesses who had given affidavits on his behalf, even though some of them were present in the courthouse. Savannah journalist Patrick Rodgers characterized the hearing as a defeat for Davis, commenting, "Although the defense team had been arguing for a hearing like this since they took over the case, if the atmosphere after last Thursday was any implication, they seemed to be wishing they could have a second chance."[6]

    I read (none / 0) (#9)
    by lentinel on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 04:38:49 PM EST
    that also.

    It really looks as if his legal team let him down.

    If the article is factually correct, it is criminally incompetent.


    It is only incompetent (none / 0) (#13)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 01:38:23 PM EST
    if his legal team did let him down. If there was little or nothing exculpatory they could add, and they did add it, what more can they do?

    They missed things (none / 0) (#14)
    by jbindc on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 01:48:24 PM EST
    Like filing deadlines and relying on shaky hearsay testimony that didn't get admitted into evidence.

    So, my understanding is that (none / 0) (#15)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 03:07:16 PM EST
    during the appeals process, etc., things like important evidence that missed deadlines, etc., gets taken into account.

    Well, yes (none / 0) (#16)
    by jbindc on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 03:27:00 PM EST
    It's an academic exericse, I know, because you are talking about a person's life, but if you are going to hold the state to strict rules about what can be done when, the defense must also be held to rules too.  Lawyers who practice death penalty appeals are not newbies - they are very experienced, and for mistakes to be made like missing filing deadlines or hoping to get hearsay testimony introduced is inexcusable.

    no (none / 0) (#17)
    by CST on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 03:29:55 PM EST
    The state should be held to a stricter rule when they are going to murder someone.

    actually strike that (none / 0) (#18)
    by CST on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 03:43:12 PM EST
    that's why we shouldn't have the death penalty.

    Because it makes life or death an academic excercise.

    And yes, his defense should hold some of the blame.  But they are not the ones who are going to murder him.


    I know (none / 0) (#19)
    by jbindc on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 03:53:12 PM EST
    But that's what has gotten lost in the discussion - his defense holds some culpability, as well as his own actions.  

    Plenty of blame to go around. This is a sad story all around because when it all comes down to it, is Troy Davis getting the justice he truly deserves and much more importantly, is Officer MacPhail getting the justice he truly deserves?


    Two different shootings (none / 0) (#7)
    by lc on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 02:49:33 PM EST
    Troy Davis was convicted of committing two different shootings on the same night, but he's not guilty on either of them?  He sure is unlucky.

    is bullet evidence discredited? (none / 0) (#10)
    by diogenes on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 08:40:45 PM EST

    from http://multimedia.savannahnow.com/media/DavisMcPhail/1991/08231991openingstatement1.pdf

    "Lawton told the jury Thursday that Davis
    fired a gunshot into a car with five
    young occupants in Cloverdale shortly before
    midnight Aug. 18,1989. The blast struck
    Cooper, and a bullet removed from his head
    matched a bullet recovered from McPhail's
    body, Lawton said.
    Davis, accompanied by 16-year-old D.D.
    Collins, then went to a pool hall on Oglethorpe
    Avenue at the foot of the old Talmadge
    Bridge where they met Sylvester
    "Red" Coles, Lawton said."

    Also, did Davis shoot Cooper, or does the innocence project say that he was innocent of that as well?

    SITE VIOLATION _ SPAM (none / 0) (#22)
    by MO Blue on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 10:49:37 PM EST

    SITE VIOLATION _ SPAM (none / 0) (#23)
    by MO Blue on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 10:49:46 PM EST