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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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Austin Rhodes
2862
Points
Austin Rhodes 09/20/11 - 09:07 am
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0
The moral to the Davis story:

The moral to the Davis story: If you are in the presence of, or have knowledge of, a murder being committed, and you do NOTHING to prevent, stop, OR report it...most people don't give a rat's fanny what happens to you as a result.

I certainly do not.

Dixieman
15012
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Dixieman 09/20/11 - 09:24 am
0
0
Good. Death penalty opponent

Good. Death penalty opponent lawyers and "activists" have delayed and delayed and dragged this on far too long -- more than 20 years! Every court that has heard this case found him guilty or his trial fair. Time to execute him.

InChristLove
22473
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InChristLove 09/20/11 - 09:38 am
0
0
If this man is innocent, may

If this man is innocent, may God have mercy on his soul. If he is guilty, then justice has been served.

stillamazed
1488
Points
stillamazed 09/20/11 - 09:48 am
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I would not want to be

I would not want to be convicted or have a family member convicted on eye witness testimony. There have been to many studies to show it is unreliable. I don't know if this man is guilty or not but all but two of these witnesses have said that the police strong armed them into saying this man did it. That bothers me. You can look at the Innocence Project and see how many people have been freed that were on death row or serving life. Our system is broken and until it can be fixed I am not in support of the death penalty. I pray for the victims family and I pray for Troy Davis and his family.

Vito45
-2
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Vito45 09/20/11 - 09:58 am
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ICL, and may God have mercy

ICL, and may God have mercy on OUR souls for executing an innocent man if that is the case.

Stillamazed, you are so right. Eye witness testimony is notoriously unreliable.

Jane18
12332
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Jane18 09/20/11 - 10:08 am
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I'm sorry stillamazed,

I'm sorry stillamazed, someone should have prayed for Troy Davis long before he started getting into trouble that eventually lead to the murder of Officer MacPhail.

willie7
955
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willie7 09/20/11 - 10:13 am
0
0
Georgia needs to do away with
Unpublished

Georgia needs to do away with the death penalty. It does not decrease crime. We will always have crime among us. Actually, we have less crime than we had 100 years ago.
As a civil society, we don't act like criminals.

onlysane1left
216
Points
onlysane1left 09/20/11 - 10:19 am
0
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Interesting point, Austin,

Interesting point, Austin, but if that is the case, why it is that out of group of teens that were involved in the James Anderson case in Mississippi, only 2 were charged and a family member denied knowing him although the truck that was used to run over Mr. Anderson was parked outside? Does guilt by association only work here in Georgia?

Austin Rhodes
2862
Points
Austin Rhodes 09/20/11 - 10:23 am
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0
I could fill 100 pages with

I could fill 100 pages with the names of 100% guilty murderers who have managed to avoid the death penalty...but that is not the issue here. At the VERY LEAST Davis assisted a murder by refusing to do what any human with a conscience or a SOUL would do in assisting another human under violent attack. So...we are either executing a killer...or the killer's accomplice.

Either way works for me.

TheOneJustice
52
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TheOneJustice 09/20/11 - 10:25 am
0
0
I think that 20 years is long
Unpublished

I think that 20 years is long enough and that he has had more than enough time to plea his casr all the way up to the highest courts in the land . Now GA can spend less money on one less inmate, and save the state some money.

Austin Rhodes
2862
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Austin Rhodes 09/20/11 - 10:25 am
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0
Oh...and Willie...Delta has

Oh...and Willie...Delta has flights to Wisconsin every day...hop on one. No death penalty there.

Of course that didn't help Jeffery Dahmer, but at least the guy who killed him in jail gets to have a comfortable life for the next 40 years.

billcass
800
Points
billcass 09/20/11 - 11:12 am
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0
I have no idea if Troy Davis

I have no idea if Troy Davis is guilty. I won't proclaim to know enough about the case to voice an opinion either way. But killing him does not make us a better society, and it does not bring "closure" to the family. Closure would have meant locking him 20 years ago for life so the victim's family never had to think about it. And if evidence is later uncovered that clears him, he is around to know it.

SCyankee
0
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SCyankee 09/20/11 - 11:27 am
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say good night!
Unpublished

say good night!

SCyankee
0
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SCyankee 09/20/11 - 11:30 am
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@willie: really? the death
Unpublished

@willie: really? the death penalty is not meant to be a crime deterrent. it's a form of punishment. this is my favorite though "As a civil society, we don't act like criminals." i guess all those over flowing prisons are a mirage. get a clue buddy!

Willow Bailey
20580
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Willow Bailey 09/20/11 - 11:32 am
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What ICL, Vito45, and

What ICL, Vito45, and stillamazed said.

realitycheck09
307
Points
realitycheck09 09/20/11 - 11:36 am
0
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I have no idea if the guy is

I have no idea if the guy is guilty or not. Also, I generally agree that we shouldn't have the death penalty. Now, all that said...

Isn't it silly that some panel of people who are insulated from the public could have overturned a jury's verdict and numerous appellate decisions? The whole idea of this clemency process just seems a bit ridiculous.

I feel bad for the family of the victim in a case like this. His death is greatly overshadowed by the circus that his surrounded Mr. Davis.

However, I do hope that we are not (yet again) executing an innocent person. Our society deserves better.

yak11
0
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yak11 09/20/11 - 11:41 am
0
0
Okay here is the reality

Okay here is the reality check. I worked in Savannah, and was assigned to a neighborhood adjacent to where Troy killed the cop. The next morning, not more than 8 hours later EVERYONE was saying be careful because Troy had done it. There were a slew of witnesses. The truth is that the defense has had years to pressure the witnesses. Troy did it. HE pulled the trigger as the Police Officer pleaded for his life.

Jane18
12332
Points
Jane18 09/20/11 - 11:52 am
0
0
Shrimp and your

Shrimp and your 10:00A.M.comment, I don't know about everyone else, but I am sick and tired of your Georgia(the South) putdowns. It seems you have this high and mighty attitude of yourself and others like you. Everytime you make any kind of statement, you make it evident and proof to some of us, your ignorance . Once or twice you have made a little sense, but on the whole you are way out in left field. And something else, you and people that do not know any better, have made good hardworking people(farmers, construction workers, outside workers,blue collar workers, etc.)into someone to be looked down on as ignorant or stupid. Well, right back at you buddy, because you are wrong. Seems like I read somewhere this morning you are moving(back) to Mass.,......GOODBYE!!

Jane18
12332
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Jane18 09/20/11 - 11:56 am
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Thank you yak11. I am

Thank you yak11. I am originally from Effingham County, and I heard the EXACT same thing.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 09/20/11 - 11:57 am
0
0
Georgia Board of Pardons and
Unpublished

Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole, thank you for not caving to the likes of al sharpton, who wouldn't know a turnip from a frog, jimmy carter, who conveniently preaches to the "crowd", the pope, who must condone the molestation of little boys by his priests, amnesty international, who blow with the prevailing winds, naacp-national association against caucasian people, who hates anyone other than blacks, and all of the other "bleeding hearts" who know NOTHING about the merits of the case against troy anthony davis.

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 09/20/11 - 12:35 pm
0
0
This is an interesting case

This is an interesting case and will most likely be studied and discussed extensively. Personally, I find, that I have more peace about executions when the person has confessed or there is overwhelming physical evidence. The witness testimony just doesn't do it for me. And I particularly abhor the "everybody" talk.

I am very grateful that I did not have to participate in coming to any conclusion regarding this case. I certainly hope and pray the correct decision has been made. I find both sides of this story to be equally horrifying, that Davis was involved in the police officers death or that an innocent man is being executed. My prayers and condolences to both families. May God give justice and mercy to both men.

happychimer
17720
Points
happychimer 09/20/11 - 12:41 pm
0
0
Willow I agree.I find, that I

Willow I agree.I find, that I have more peace about executions when the person has confessed or there is overwhelming physical evidence. The witness testimony just doesn't do it for me. And I particularly abhor the "everybody" talk.

happychimer
17720
Points
happychimer 09/20/11 - 12:44 pm
0
0
I do feel that executing

I do feel that executing Davis could be allowing a real killer to go free. I have no confidence in our justice system anymore.

stillamazed
1488
Points
stillamazed 09/20/11 - 01:39 pm
0
0
Yak11 and Jane18, so are you

Yak11 and Jane18, so are you saying that the police don't pressure wittnesses, they do it all the time and if our system worked so good there would not be over 250 people freed from life sentences and death row but I guess it is fine with you two that an innocent person may be put to death. Bet you would feel different if it was ones of your loved ones. Eye witness testimony is not reliable, fact. Police want to solve cases fast, fact. When 8 out of 10 people say they were pressured by police to say things they did not want to say then I see a problem with that. I am not saying I am not against the death penalty but show my solid proof without a doubt.

specsta
6505
Points
specsta 09/20/11 - 01:52 pm
0
0
If the Troy Davis execution

If the Troy Davis execution is carried out, it will be another stain on the inept justice system in this country. There is firm doubt about the man's guilt; therefore, any human being with a shred of morality or decency would not allow this to happen.

I find it interesting that a group calling itself the "Georgia Christian Coalition" would approve of the taking of another man's life. That really bothers me. I just can't picture Jesus with a picket sign marching outside the prison walls demanding this man's death.

justthefacts
22010
Points
justthefacts 09/20/11 - 02:01 pm
0
0
Out of curiosity, Judge Moore

Out of curiosity, Judge Moore presided over an appeal and after all the evidence presented, ruled against Davis. Why is that discounted?

yak11
0
Points
yak11 09/20/11 - 02:02 pm
0
0
Still....ok lets try this

Still....ok lets try this again....the neighborhood surrounding the bus terminal is called Yamacraw. It was a 300+ Public Housing neighborhood. The morning after the shooting (less than 8 hours later) the entire neighborhood was scared to death of....TROY DAVIS, there were a SLEW of witnesses. Now lets look at the Evidence (stuff that never seemed to matter to the blithering idiot who was the Failed President from 76-80). THE bullet removed from the jaw of the DEAD police officer MATCHED (still..that means it was similar) to the bullet that Troy Davis used to shoot another man earlier that day.

This is the fact here gang, the facts match, just because a few cowards were pressured into lying (remember they gave testimony to the police and then gave the SAME EXACT testimony two years later in court) after 20 years is Not significant. Okay the Davis family is scum plain and simple I am certain that they have pressured the witnesses. Sorry I know that many cannot stomach the idea of removing vicious dogs from society (while strangely they can kill innocent babies as easily at Troy murdered Officer MacPhail) but luckily there are people who think with their brains and not their sphincters.

happychimer
17720
Points
happychimer 09/20/11 - 02:07 pm
0
0
Maybe the governor will stop

Maybe the governor will stop the execution. What really irritates me is, Susan Smith planned and murdered her 2 kids. They were strapped in their carseats and drowned. she did it. She murdered her kids, and she was not given the death penalty. Others have murdered their kids and gotten off with a slap on the wrist. Troy Davis was found guilty of murdering a cop, without physical evidence or a confession, and he gets the death penalty. Something is wrong with that picture.

Vito45
-2
Points
Vito45 09/20/11 - 02:16 pm
0
0
I agree Happy C. I am pro

I agree Happy C. I am pro death penalty in the right circumstances; but I am bothered by cases where there is no "smoking gun" type of evidence. Better a few get life instead of death than execute an innocent person.

justthefacts
22010
Points
justthefacts 09/20/11 - 02:21 pm
0
0
Vito. why do you think Judge

Vito. why do you think Judge Moore sees the "smoking gun" that you do not? Just curious.

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