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Troy Davis clemency denied

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ATLANTA -- Death-penalty opponents trying to stop Troy Davis’ Wednesday evening execution aren’t being stymied by today’s decision by the Board of Pardons and Paroles to deny him clemency.

Instead, some of his supporters are calling on prison workers to strike and refuse to carry out court orders for the lethal injection scheduled for 7 p.m.

The board met for three hours Monday with Davis’ attorneys and supporters -- including one juror who now regrets giving him a death sentence. After lunch, the five-member board spent another four hours hearing from prosecutors and the family of the off-duty Savannah policeman Davis is convicted of shooting to death, Mark MacPhail.

The board issued an unusual statement explaining it recognized the emotions involved and had not taken the responsibility lightly.

“Since 2000, the board has commuted three death-penalty cases. In considering clemency in such cases, the board weighs each case on its own merit,” the statement said. “They have considered the totality of the information presented in this case and thoroughly deliberated on it, after which the board’s decision was to deny clemency.”

Shortly after the parole board made its brief announcement by email, one came from Senate Democratic Whip Vincent Fort of Atlanta and Sara Totonchi, executive director of the Atlanta-based Southern Center for Human Rights.

“The courts and the parole board have failed to use their power to prevent this imminent miscarriage of justice,” the pair said. “However, Troy Davis’ execution cannot take place unless human beings at the Georgia Diagnostic & Classifications Prison make it happen. They can refuse to kill Troy Davis.”

They are calling for a general strike or “sick out” by all but a skeleton staff at the prison in Jackson that houses death row. They also issued personal challenges by name to the warden, deputy warden and one of the doctors reported to be hired to certify death after lethal injections.

“Each and every one of you are human beings with the power to refuse and resist participation in an immoral execution of a man who may be innocent,” the pair said. “We implore you to use this power.”

Amnesty International and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People held a morning press conference at Ebenezer Baptist Church, less than a mile from the parole board offices. They called for Savannah District Attorney Larry Chisolm to request that Chatham County Superior Court Judge Penny House Freesemann vacate the death warrant, but they haven’t recently met with him to deliver their message.

The groups also plan a demonstration on the steps of the state Capitol and are asking sympathizers to wear black arm bands Wednesday with the message “not in my name.”

“It is unconscionable that the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles has denied relief to Troy Davis,” said Larry Cox, executive director of Amnesty International. “Allowing a man to be sent to death under an enormous cloud of doubt about his guilt is an outrageous affront to justice.”

Proponents of the death penalty didn’t let opponents hold center stage alone.

Jerry Luquire, president of the Georgia Christian Coalition, issued a statement in support of the clemency denial.

“In the murder of Mark MacPhail 21 years ago, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles has made the only decision it could render if we are going to be governed by the rule of law. The board refused to substitute the emotions of those who disagree with the verdict with more than 20 years of legal decisions upholding the guilt and sentence of Troy Davis,” he said.

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dougk
3
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dougk 09/20/11 - 08:17 pm
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Hey, Willow. Pack your
Unpublished

Hey, Willow. Pack your bags...let me take you on a prison tour for a couple of weeks...I think you might have a different impression...of climate controlled surroundings ??.....Conjugal visits? Not a chance.

fatboyhog
1944
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fatboyhog 09/20/11 - 08:25 pm
0
0
Just a few things to ponder.

Just a few things to ponder. Why would Davis' mother testify that he was at her home until he left for Atlanta with his sister, when Davis himself testified that he was at the scene where a fight broke out that resulted in the death of Officer MacPhail? Why would Davis say, "Spare my life. Just give me a second chance. That's all I ask" if he were innocent..why would he need a "second chance"? How is it that he was wearing exactly what the suspect was wearing at the time of the murder? Why would police coerce people to testify about Davis killing MacPhail when they didn't know if he had an alibi? Why would they be more interested in arresting and framing Davis rather than catch the "real killer"? The same caliber bullet, bullets, and bullet casings matched a shooting from earlier at a different location; odd that Davis was at both locations. Davis was convicted by a jury made up of 7 blacks and 5 whites. I wasn't there, neither was anyone supporting Davis. For as loudly as they are professing that he is innocent, I think he's guilty. He needs to man up and accept responsibility for his actions. He needs to be a man for once in his life.

InChristLove
22473
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InChristLove 09/20/11 - 08:28 pm
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Jake, I agree it seems she

Jake, I agree it seems she got off easy but I think it was a little more than dressing sexy and mental cruelty. I believe a documentary of this case included physcial cruelty, not that it's justification for murder, but it was never proven that she did it deliberately or slipped on a pillow. Still don't understand why they didn't charge her for just up and leaving him there to die.

augusta citizen
9330
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augusta citizen 09/20/11 - 08:58 pm
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0
shrimp for breakfast, your

shrimp for breakfast, your comment on the Social Security/Ponzi scheme miffed me this morning. When you said you couldn't wait to move to Mass. and all, because, I had just assumed you were from the south and then the Mass. comment threw me off. Glad to know you're a true southerner from Charleston, the best city ever!!! Let's be honest, no one from Mass. eats shrimp for breakfast! Hope you keep enjoying shrimp and saying "yes ma'am and y'all" no matter where you land!! God bless you and keep you!

Jake
32532
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Jake 09/20/11 - 09:07 pm
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ICL, If someone is pointing a

ICL, If someone is pointing a shotgun at me and it goes off then I would assume that they were trying to kill me. Why else pick up a gun? To put fear in me? Well she did that to him and also a few lead shots as well. She skated and he died a horrible death (with the children present). I think there are courts that are established to handle this without resorting to bloodshed. I believe that what you mete out you should be handled the same way.

realitycheck09
307
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realitycheck09 09/20/11 - 09:16 pm
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happy chimer - I think you

happy chimer - I think you have your cause and effect wrong. She's not crazy b/c she killed two kids....she killed two kids because she was crazy.

You understand that there are people out there who are mentally unhinged (not just mean) and, at times, they do kill?

Anyway, we're the only modernized country that has executions. If all of you learned folks can live with that, then god help us all.

Willow Bailey
20580
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Willow Bailey 09/20/11 - 09:39 pm
0
0
dougk, it would be

dougk, it would be adventurous, but I am diligent about avoiding my own residency. Though, I have visited the Augusta State Prison as an invited guest by a men's group who serves in the prison ministry. It was an interesting and good experience. Also, got lost in CC jail while visiting and got locked into a stairwell with my only choice for exit leading into the men's prison yard. I selected remaining in the stairwell until they came looking for me. Not on my list of things I'd like to do again. Every time, I think I have your occupation figured out, you throw me a little curve. You don't have to say... but sometimes I think professor or psychologist, maybe both....

Willow Bailey
20580
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Willow Bailey 09/20/11 - 10:00 pm
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Jake, I really struggle with

Jake, I really struggle with the idea that killing family members gets a less sentence than killing a stranger...talk about blaming the victim. I just never got comfortable with the Wrinkler story. The woman was educated, had family, community ties, friends, co-workers resulting in many places and people to reach out to. Not buying the whole embarrassment aspect, either. How embarrassing is it to blow your husband away with a shotgun in front of your kids, and leave him to choke in his own blood? The only plausible explanation would have to be to demonize him. She succeeded in getting eyes off of the financial crimes she was involved in. It's a case that just takes your breath away. She has given her children a tremendous burden to live with and herself as well.

dougk
3
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dougk 09/20/11 - 10:04 pm
0
0
Yeah, you pretty much got my
Unpublished

Yeah, you pretty much got my occupation....and, but, have and "in" to the SC prison system...any time you want to spend some time. I'll be there with you...but it will have to be in a male facility...the women's are not "nice," but pretty tame in comparison....but still no conjugality.

InChristLove
22473
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InChristLove 09/20/11 - 10:13 pm
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0
Jake, I agree there are

Jake, I agree there are courts to handle marital and financial problems. I never said I believed her story, only that it had been reported there was physical abuse also involved. Willow, I have my doubts also about the Winkler story and there was a lot that didn't make sense. All I was saying is that none of us lived in the household and know what really went on. We do know that her actions after she shot her husband lead us (me anyway) to believe she wasn't sorry she had shot him.

Vito45
-2
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Vito45 09/20/11 - 10:18 pm
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RC09, I would go for an

RC09, I would go for an abolishment of the death penalty provided we could lock them away in isolation 24/7 with no fraternization with other prisoners, period; but the SCOTUS has determined that is "cruel and unusual" punishment, a violation of their constitutional rights. I'm asking because I don't know; how are the most vile criminals treated in other "no-death penalty" countries?

howcanweknow
2306
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howcanweknow 09/20/11 - 10:32 pm
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Jesus did not stop capital

Jesus did not stop capital punishment in his day. He suffered it himself, willingly, even though he was innocent Nor did he commute the sentence of the thieves executed with him. Not saying what he would say in this case, but he did instruct obedience to the laws of the land.

dougk
3
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dougk 09/20/11 - 10:33 pm
0
0
Lord, have mercy, Vito,
Unpublished

Lord, have mercy, Vito, There are prisoners all over these United States in super max prisons, both at the federal and state level who have no contact with other prisoners or prison personnel. They may have one hour a day "yard" time and shower time.,......but that is all remotely controlled. However, the "run of the mill" convicted murderer is really less a threat compared to other offenders. Death row is really very tame.

dougk
3
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dougk 09/20/11 - 10:36 pm
0
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Very insightful,
Unpublished

Very insightful, howcanweknow, just suck it up....whether you are rightly or wrongly accused. Let me write that down.

realitycheck09
307
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realitycheck09 09/20/11 - 10:38 pm
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Vito - they actually get much

Vito - they actually get much shorter sentences in other countries - not life without parole. I think in the UK, for example, you get 20-30 years but do less.

Jake
32532
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Jake 09/20/11 - 10:38 pm
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Yeah, my wife and I have had

Yeah, my wife and I have had disagreements from time to time. I know all married couples do. No one knows exactly what goes on in my household except those of us who live here and even then not everyone knows everything. I will not shoot my wife because after 19yrs of marriage she will not put her dishes in the dishwasher. She may shoot me for snoring but I will plead unconsciousness if I survive.

dougk
3
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dougk 09/20/11 - 10:41 pm
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but what about the more sexy
Unpublished

but what about the more sexy part, Jake??

Cassandra Harris
-3
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Cassandra Harris 09/20/11 - 11:00 pm
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"Jesus did not stop capital

"Jesus did not stop capital punishment in his day."
I'm sure the story where he stopped the stoning of the woman found guilty of adultery would refute that statement.

Willow Bailey
20580
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Willow Bailey 09/20/11 - 11:00 pm
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ICL, I typically have a lot

ICL, I typically have a lot of compassion and mercy because I know that a lot of people begin life in the worst of situations that we could never completely understand. It is violating positions of love and trust that I can't be as understanding or gracious about, particularly involving children.

You are right about stuff going on behind closed doors, but unless we are bound and gagged, we have to be held responsibile for seeking help or suffer the consequences of open season on spouses.

I think it is interesting that Mary Wrinkler described herself as a "mouse". That was her most believeable utterance in my opinion as to her explanation of feeling as if she were a battered wife. I think she was honest about her explanation of the trip to the beach, but taking the gun with her, reads like she may have considered trying to cover it up. Realizing how much the children knew, would have dashed any reasonable person's hopes for that charade. I didn't believe a word about the ugly wig and silly looking shoes; those two items had no chance of appeal. Her sentence has to be the least in modern history for murdering a spouse with no history of abuse, witnesses, and no physical evidence. I really feel for the children and Matthew's parents who had to have been devasted over this.

Willow Bailey
20580
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Willow Bailey 09/20/11 - 11:10 pm
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Goodnight, dougk, hope I

Goodnight, dougk, hope I don't dream about being in prison.

InChristLove
22473
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InChristLove 09/21/11 - 06:44 am
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Willow, I don't know all the

Willow, I don't know all the details of the Winkler case, only bits and pieces I saw on a documentary on the case.

"I didn't believe a word about the ugly wig and silly looking shoes; those two items had no chance of appeal." Different strokes for different fokes...I've heard of stranger things.

I'll agree with you that her sentence to me was a joke but just because no one saw any signs physical abuse, doesn't mean there were none. Abusers are excellent at hiding any evidence. Although, if this were the case, it is still no justification for taking a man's life.

I'm wondering since the girls are getting older, if they know the truth, and would they speak out about what really happened. I do believe the documentary stated she is still in contact with her in-laws and the girls still have contact with their father's parents. Whether that is true, I'm not sure.

howcanweknow
2306
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howcanweknow 09/21/11 - 07:25 am
0
0
Cassandra, I was waiting for

Cassandra, I was waiting for you to bring up that very example (incorrectly, of course). If you go back and read that account in John, Jesus did not disagree that the woman deserved punishment under the law. In fact, he approved observance of the law, and did not discount it. He told the people to go ahead and stone her, but just let those who had not sinned to begin the process. Afterward, he warned her NOT to be a repeat offender.

So, read the text carefully before you try to manipulate it to conform to your agenda. Jesus did not condemn capital punishment at all. In fact, you could even say that he endorsed it in this example. But, he saw through the thinly-veiled attempt to use this woman as a pawn to trap him.

Please don't tell us what Jesus would do today in our situations. That way you can create your own Jesus. Instead of predicting what he would do, look instead about what he DID. There's where you'll find the truth.

Bruno
780
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Bruno 09/21/11 - 08:19 am
0
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The death penalty isn't about

The death penalty isn't about stopping future crimes by other people. That is an often cited mischaracterization of the reason for the death penalty. Once Davis is executed, the vocal opponents will move on to the next person and use them as the poster child for their movement.
Also, Senate Democratic Whip Vincent Fort of Atlanta needs to be called on the carpet for calling on state employees to refuse to do their jobs. If the workers do refuse they should be fired on the spot.

Bruno
780
Points
Bruno 09/21/11 - 08:20 am
0
0
howcanweknow, if you notice,

howcanweknow, if you notice, Jesus never once spoke out against the death penalty even while his was being carried out. mjussayin

Cassandra Harris
-3
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Cassandra Harris 09/21/11 - 08:57 am
0
0
so fascinating to see that

so fascinating to see that Jesus was so into bloodlust, this new bloodlust, war mongering, capitalist, anti poor Jesus I keep hearing about on the comments of the AC sure doesn't fit the one whose words I've read in the Bible. We will have to disagree whether Jesus was defying the death penalty when he stopped them from stoning that poor woman. As I recall Jesus was real big on love of all humanity, forgiveness, charity and mercy - traits that appear to me to be in scarcity amongst a small group of posters on the AC, imo.

InChristLove
22473
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InChristLove 09/21/11 - 09:23 am
0
0
The Jesus of the Bible was,

The Jesus of the Bible was, is and will always be kind, compassionate, loving, forgiving, and merciful. He is extremely patient with us all but He is also righteous, a God of justice. So many times we only want to look at the feel good "Jesus" and not at the righteous "Jesus" because we do not want to submit to His authority which requires us to be accountable for our sins. If we don't recognize his authority then we can convience ourselves that He's this nice man you can read about in a book, no submission, no respect, no obediance, no authority.

howcanweknow
2306
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howcanweknow 09/21/11 - 09:52 am
0
0
Cassandra, it's really very

Cassandra, it's really very simple. You see the Jesus you WANT to see. That's why you don't have the complete picture. No one discounts that Jesus demonstrated love and mercy. Get real! But, look at Jesus cleansing the temple or calling the religions folks snakes and corrupt dead men walking. If you are going to bring Jesus into a discussion, bring in Jesus in his entirety -- not just the Cassandra version that is selected to agree with your preconceived views.

You pulled the woman caught in adultery out of context to fit your agenda. In context, the story is about the religious leaders trying to trap Jesus. That's all. It's not a referendum on capital punishment. Go back and read it again.

Yes, Jesus did prevent her death, but again, nowhere do we see him condemning the right -- under the law -- to execute capital punishment (in fact, you could easily take his words as indeed supporting capital punishment under the Jewish law of the time). He did not argue that point at all. So, you can't use this one example (clearly out of context) to support your position that capital punishment is forbidden by Christ. That's not the point of the story, and is totally misrepresenting what really happened here.

Don't do that.

iLove
626
Points
iLove 09/21/11 - 10:02 am
0
0
He that is without, cast the
Unpublished

He that is without, cast the first stone...

Only God knows what happened.

We ALL will have to answer one day...nomatter what you believe.

Cassandra Harris
-3
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Cassandra Harris 09/21/11 - 10:13 am
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hkwk - "You see the Jesus you

hkwk - "You see the Jesus you WANT to see" - The point of my post exactly, and I can see that a number of posters who claim to be christians here want to seem him as vengeful and bloodthirsty.

However I also see Christians here who see him as leaning on the side of mercy.

Again the AC commenters giving a good example of why our nation upholds the separation of church and state.

howcanweknow
2306
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howcanweknow 09/21/11 - 10:35 am
0
0
I think all Christians are

I think all Christians are merciful because they have been shown mercy. I would never be the one to "cast the first stone", unless it was at myself. We certainly agree on that.

However, everyone (including Christians) should also stand for justice and uphold the rule of law. I know nothing of this specific case, and will not comment on it. I'm not qualified in any way.

All I know is that he has been tried and convicted of murder. In this state that is a capital offense. Opinions on this site cannot change the fact. That must be decided at the State House or possible the ballot box. Until that time, premeditated 1st-degree murder is a capital offense.

Again, I will not comment on this particular case. But I understand that his lawyers have had 20 years (20 YEARS!) to provide evidence for reasonable doubt. Apparently, judges / courts do not see a valid reason for overturning the initial verdict -- and they are privy to evidence that we do not see.

This is a terrible situation. Even more terrible was the murder of a policeman. Whoever committed that murder is deserving of the maximum penalty allowed by law. In GA, that is currently capital punishment. I do not condemn anyone, but neither do I condemn the judicial authorities for doing their job and trying to bring this 20-year-old case to a close. They have the evidence. We do not. At some point you have to place your trust in the ones we have put in place to uphold justice and the law.

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