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MassCops Angel
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
By Rhonda COok
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

SAVANNAH, Ga. - An execution warrant was signed Wednesday for Troy Anthony Davis, convicted in the 1989 murder of Savannah police officer Mark Allen MacPhail in a case that later saw seven witnesses against recant their testimony.
Davis is the second Chatham County murder convict to have an execution date set this week. On Tuesday, Jack Alderman was scheduled to die for the 1974 murder of his wife on Sept. 16.
The Department of Corrections says Davis is to be executed at 7 p.m. Sept. 23.
The warrant comes six months after the Georgia Supreme Court refused a request by Davis's lawyers for a new trial.
Davis came within 23 hours of being executed in July 2007, but the state Board of Pardons and Paroles granted him a 90-day stay to give him time to ask the courts to reconsider his case in light of the recanted testimony.
In the meantime, death cases nationwide were effectively put on hold while the U.S. Supreme Court considered the constitutionality of lethal injection, a question that has been resolved.

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MassCops Angel
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Protests held over Ga. cop killer's execution


This undated photo released by the Georgia Department of Corrections shows death-row inmate Troy Davis. More than 17 years after Davis was convicted of gunning down a Savannah, Ga. police officer, supporters say disturbing questions remain about his guilt. Still, unless the courts intervene, Davis is facing execution Tuesday night, September 23. (AP Photo/Georgia Department of Corrections)

Lethal injection scheduled for Tuesday; 7 witnesses have recanted in murder case

The Associated Press

ATLANTA, Ga. - More than 250 anti-death penalty protesters marched Thursday in downtown Atlanta to call for a new hearing for Troy Anthony Davis, who is condemned to die tomorrow for the murder of a Savannah police officer 19 years ago. The group also held a prayer vigil at Ebenezer Baptist Church.
In addition, one protestor has taken up a vigil in a chair at Marietta and Fairlie streets to fast and protest the planned execution.
Steve Woodall said he will remain at the chair until Davis is pardoned, his sentence is commuted, or until Tuesday, when Davis is due to be killed.
"I'm not just protesting the death penalty, I'm protesting because he's an innocent man," Woodall said, wearing a blue and white T-shirt that reads "I am Troy Davis."
On Thursday night, demonstrators carried signs proclaiming "Innocence Matters" as they walked 12 blocks from Woodruff Park in the heart of downtown Atlanta to new Ebenezer Baptist Church.
The church is across Auburn Avenue from the historic sanctuary where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. preached. Ebenezer's pastor, the Rev. Raphael Warnock, said it was appropriate the march should end there because King opposed the death penalty.
"This is the house of God, but it is also the house of a great servant of God whose voice echoes from the crypt," Warnock said to the crowd, swollen to about 350 by the time they assembled in the church.
Supporters of Davis, who is scheduled for lethal injection Tuesday, say he should get a new trial because several witnesses who testified against him recanted or contradicted their statements. The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles denied Davis clemency last Friday but did not give a reason.
"We're quite shocked that the board turned him down," said Peggy Hendrix, an anti-death penalty activist from Atlanta who took part in the march organized by Amnesty International and the NAACP. "We're trying to get them to reconsider."
The case has taken on racial overtones because Davis is black. The slain officer, Mark McPhail, was white.
Edward Lee, an Asian-American marcher, said it was a matter of social justice.
"Any of us could be in the same situation, with the wrong skin color or whatever," Lee said.
Eleanor Hunter of Atlanta noted that the United States is one of the few nations with capital punishment.
"We should be following the universal human rights proscribed by the United Nations," Hunter said. "That doesn't mean you shouldn't be punished, but each of us has the right to live."
The Rev. Timothy McDonald, who spoke at the park to begin the march, noted that all types of people were present, "old, young, Asian, black and white."
"This is what justice looks like," McDonald proclaimed as he exhorted the throng to chant "justice matters" and "innocence matters" along the way.
At the church, Davis' older sister, Martina Davis Correia, said she was gratified by the turnout.
"Everyone is here," Correia told a reporter. "No matter what happens on the 23rd we win. People are getting involved. They're not standing for executing people for no reason."
She said she would not give up even if her brother is put to death on Tuesday. Rejection of his appeals so far has been on procedural grounds, she said.
"I'm taking this fight to the White House," Correia said. "This is about a system of injustice that we have to expose."

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MassCops Angel
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Supreme Court delays cop killer's execution

The Associated Press

ATLANTA - The U.S. Supreme Court gave a reprieve to a Georgia inmate less than two hours before he was to be executed Tuesday for the 1989 slaying of an off-duty police officer.
Supporters of 39-year-old Troy Davis have called for a new trial as seven of the nine witnesses who helped put him on death row recanted their testimony. Protesters had arrived by the busload to protest the execution, carrying signs with slogans like "Justice for Troy Davis" and wearing blue T-shirts emblazoned with "I am Troy Davis." A crowd of about 50 erupted in cheers when the stay, granted around 5:20 p.m., was announced.
The Rev. Al Sharpton had accompanied members of Davis' family to the protest, including Davis' mother, Virginia.
Prosecutors have labeled the witness statements "suspect," and courts had previously refused requests for a new trial.
The execution had been scheduled for 7 p.m. EDT.
The stay will remain in effect while the court considers Davis' appeal. Davis wants the high court to order a judge to hear from the witnesses who recanted their testimony and others who say another man confessed to the crime.
Influential advocates, including former President Jimmy Carter and South Africa Archbishop Desmond Tutu, insist that there's enough doubt about his guilt to merit a new trial.
A divided Georgia Supreme Court has twice rejected his request for a new trial, and had rejected his appeal to delay the execution Monday afternoon. The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles also turned down his bid for clemency.
Davis was convicted of the murder of 27-year-old officer Mark MacPhail, who was working off-duty as a security guard at a bus station.
MacPhail had rushed to help a homeless man who had been pistol-whipped at a nearby parking lot, and was shot twice when he approached Davis and two other men.
Witnesses identified Davis as the shooter, and at the 1991 trial, prosecutors said he wore a "smirk on his face" as he fired the gun.
But Davis' lawyers say new evidence proves their client was a victim of mistaken identity. Besides those who have recanted their testimony, three others who did not testify have said Sylvester "Red" Coles - who testified against Davis at his trial - confessed to the killing.
Coles refused to talk about the case when contacted by The Associated Press during a 2007 Chatham County court appearance and has no listed phone number.
Prosecutors have contended in court hearings the case is closed. They also say some of the witness affidavits simply repeat what a trial jury has already heard, while others are irrelevant because they come from witnesses who never testified.
Meanwhile, a man was set to be executed Tuesday in Florida barring a last-minute intervention by the U.S. Supreme Court. Richard "Ric Ric" Henyard, 34, was convicted of the 1993 shooting deaths of two sisters - 7-year-old Jamilya Lewis and Jasmine Lewis, 3.
Their mother, Dorothy Lewis, survived after she was raped and shot several times during a carjacking. Both girls, with their mother when they were seized by Henyard and an accomplice, were shot in the head when they cried out for her.

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ga. officer's family angered by execution delay

Greg Bluestein
The Associated Press

ATLANTA - After a Georgia inmate convicted of murdering a police officer was spared from execution a second time, the condemned man's widely publicized supporters erupted in joy. But far from television cameras, the victim's family seethed.
"My son is dead. Theirs is still alive," said Anneliese MacPhail, the officer's mother. "That's just the way I feel."
Arm-in-arm with the Rev. Al Sharpton, Troy Davis' exultant family and a busload of supporters sang, wept and prayed Tuesday when they learned he was granted a temporary reprieve from the U.S. Supreme Court just hours before he was to be executed.
It was the second time he had been spared and, for Davis' family, another opportunity to proclaim his innocence and press for a new trial. The execution will be delayed for at least a couple of weeks. The court is scheduled to review Davis' appeal at a private conference on Monday.
Away from the spotlight was the grieving family of Mark MacPhail, who was shot and killed in 1989 while moonlighting as a security guard at a Savannah bus station. He rushed to help a homeless man who had been pistol-whipped and was shot twice when he approached Davis and two other men.
Embittered by delays and legal maneuvering, the family was devastated by Tuesday's reprieve.
"I'm furious, disgusted and disappointed," Anneliese MacPhail said. "I want this over with. This has been hanging over us for 19 years."
Davis was convicted in 1991, after prosecutors at his trial said he approached McPhail with a "smirk on his face" as he fired the gun. But seven of the nine key witnesses who helped put Davis on death row have since recanted their statements. Three other people have said one of the witnesses who testified at Davis' trial later confessed to killing the officer.
The fresh doubts, coupled with Davis' claims of innocence, have drawn support from high-profile leaders like President Jimmy Carter and South Africa Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Amnesty International has organized protests as far away as Paris, and Sharpton has helped lead rallies calling for a new trial.
Amid the concerns, the state pardons board postponed Davis' execution in July 2007 less than 24 hours before it was to occur. The courts have since thoroughly vetted the case.
A divided Georgia Supreme Court this year has twice rejected his request for a new trial, and the pardons board turned down his bid for clemency this month after considering the case again.
The U.S. Supreme Court issued its last-minute stay Tuesday night after Davis had already turned down his last meal and prepared his final statement.
For MacPhail's family, the lengthy appeals process has been excruciating.
"If I saw him, I'd punch him in the face," the victim's mother said of Davis. "I am angry at the whole family. I don't know how they have such a following."
Mark MacPhail was an Army Ranger for almost six years before he and his wife decided to settle down and he became a police officer in Savannah.
To his 74-year-old mother, who sat through the trial and becomes livid when she talks about the case, there's no question that Davis pulled the trigger.
"I don't think there will ever be closure. There's a hole in our heart that will never be healed," she said. "But we just want Mark to rest in peace. And we want to live now. We have just been existing all these years, waiting for the next shoe to drop.
"When it's over, justice has been done. That's the way we feel."

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MassCops Angel
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ga. cop killer to face death penalty again

Today, the Supreme Court cleared the way for Troy Davis to be put to death for killing a police officer, two weeks after it halted his execution to consider his appeal. (AP Photo​

By Greg Bluestein
Associated Press

ATLANTA - The Supreme Court has cleared the way for a Georgia man to be put to death for killing a police officer two weeks after it halted his execution to consider his appeal.
Troy Davis asked the high court to intervene in his case and order a new trial because seven of the nine witnesses against him have recanted their testimony. Former President Jimmy Carter and South Africa Archbishop Desmond Tutu are among prominent supporters who have called for a new trial.
The justices granted Davis a reprieve on Sept. 23, less than two hours before his scheduled execution. But they declined Tuesday to give his appeal a full-blown hearing. It was not immediately clear when his execution will be scheduled.
Davis' supporters, who erupted in joy when his execution was halted last month, said they were heartbroken when they received word of the decision.
"Oh, God. I think it's disgusting, terrible. I'm extremely disappointed," said Martina Correia, Davis' sister. "Well, we still have to fight. We can't stop."
Davis was convicted of the murder of 27-year-old officer Mark MacPhail, who was working off-duty as a security guard at a bus station. MacPhail's family said they were relieved.
"I was hoping that would be the decision," said MacPhail's mother, Anneliese MacPhail. "I'm hoping that soon we will have some peace, that this will all be over."
A divided Georgia Supreme Court has twice rejected Davis' request for a new trial, and had rejected his appeal to delay the execution on Monday afternoon. The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles also turned down his bid for clemency.
MacPhail had rushed to help a homeless man who had been pistol-whipped at a nearby parking lot, and was shot twice when he approached Davis and two other men.
Witnesses identified Davis as the shooter, and at the 1991 trial, prosecutors said he wore a "smirk on his face" as he fired the gun.
But Davis' lawyers say new evidence proves their client was a victim of mistaken identity. Besides those who have recanted their testimony, three others who did not testify have said Sylvester "Red" Coles - who testified against Davis at his trial - confessed to the killing.
Coles refused to talk about the case when contacted by The Associated Press during a 2007 court appearance and has no listed phone number.
Prosecutors have said the case is closed. They also say some of the witness affidavits simply repeat what a trial jury has already heard, while others are irrelevant because they come from witnesses who never testified.

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MassCops Angel
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Court Halts Execution of Georgia Officer's Killer

By GREG BLUESTEIN
Associated Press Writer

ATLANTA --

A federal appeals court has halted the execution of a Georgia man accused of gunning down an off-duty police officer in 1989.
A three-judge panel from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay for Troy Davis on Friday.
Davis' supporters have called for a new trial because seven of the nine key witnesses against him have recanted their testimony, and the doubts about his guilt have won him the support of former President Jimmy Carter and other prominent advocates.
The panel ordered both sides to draft briefs to address whether Davis can be executed if he can prove his innocence. At his 1991 trial, prosecutors said Davis wore a smirk on his face as he fired the gun.

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The case has taken on racial overtones because Davis is black. The slain officer, Mark McPhail, was white.
Edward Lee, an Asian-American marcher, said it was a matter of social justice.
"Any of us could be in the same situation, with the wrong skin color or whatever," Lee said.
Ummmm, am I missing something? Is there an epidemic of people out there who just happen to find themselves charged with slaughtering a cop?:rolleyes:
 

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Maddy B's grammy
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I know, it definately has everything to do with the skin color, Not because the bastard shot and killed someone. I love these people always trying to pull the race card.
 
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