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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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InChristLove 09/21/11 - 10:58 am
Good Morning Cassandra. I am

Good Morning Cassandra. I am stated a number of the posters who claim to be christians here want to see Him as vengeful and bloodthirsty. I've read the comments and don't see what you are referring to. Would you please explain or at least post some of the comments that give you this opinion.

I believe there have been some posters (Christian and non-believers alike) who believe in the death penalty and some who do not. A few of the posters who I'm assuming are Christian, who agree with the verdict in this case, have stated that we live under man's law and not God's law so we have to abide by the law of man.

It appears that if our nation lived and was governed by God's law, then it's possible mercy would be given and this man would spend the rest of his life in prison. But such as it is, man's law rules.

Iwannakno 09/21/11 - 10:40 am
Make no mistake about it. I

Make no mistake about it. I am for the death penalty and I don't think the process is speedy enough but if their is one shred of doubt then it should not be carried out. Austin's comment about he deserves it just because he was there shows why Austin has a lot of enemies in this area. All you need to do is look at the West Memphis 3 to know that there are cases where the system railroads people and over zealous police and prosecutors use the "I will put you in jail if you don't help" card.

Cassandra Harris
Cassandra Harris 09/21/11 - 11:06 am
happy - while all Christians

happy - while all Christians should be merciful and I believe most are, not everyone who lays claim to the name Christian is.

ICL - I am not going to have my post pulled for being accused of calling a particular individual "unchristian" above another. I will say that imo all death penalty cases are about vengeance and not about justice, otherwise we would commit them to life in prison which is much cheaper and more humane. That said, there are some posts on here by people who regularly like to post their religious preference loudly who are quite upset that this man is not dead in spite of the lack of forensic evidence, the recanting of 7 witnesses who said they were coerced by intimidation, and the main accuser being suspect himself. A merciful person would err on the side of giving him life in prison and let their god decide when he should be removed from this life and what to do with him once he has. That's my opinion.

InChristLove 09/21/11 - 11:18 am
Cassandra, my intentions were

Cassandra, my intentions were not for you to post anyone's name or accuse someone of being unChristian. I was only curious about which statements led you to the conclusion that some Christians believe Jesus is bloodthirty and venegful. I just didn't see it in any of the postings. I believe most have stated He is merciful and kind but also a just God.

I will agree with you that in my mind there are some doubts concerning this case and in my opinion the courts should have erred on the side of caution.

InChristLove 09/21/11 - 11:23 am
Whether a Christian believes

Whether a Christian believes in the death penalty or not, as stated earlier, because we live by man's law, the death penalty has to be considered because it is a form of justice according to the laws of this land. Personally, if our nation was following the laws of God, then I do believe we would have more criminals who under man's law would be sentence to death, spending the rest of their life in prison and let God bring judgement when they pass from this earth.

Jane18 09/21/11 - 01:20 pm
I am sorry I missed so much

I am sorry I missed so much of this discussion. The one thing I know is that GOD, our FATHER, does not like one of HIS children murdering another child of HIS. HE stated very plainly the sentence for this action, and JESUS said in Matthew that HE had not came to change any of the law(s). Before anyone can jump to some conclusion, you must remember by HIS crucifixion, many blood ordinances and statutes were done away with. The act of premeditated murder and criminal homicide were not. This evening when Troy Davis has breathed his last breath, his soul and the spirit of it will be in the presence of GOD, and at that time will go on the good or bad side of a gulf in heaven(Luke16--read about Lazareth and the rich man who was burning with shame and tormented with the fact he had really messed up). Guess whose soul and spirit ole' Troy is going to see---Officer MacPhail! Hey shrimp, I love,love, love, Charleston! I'm sorry you were having a bad day(yesterday).

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