Letters seek clemency in killing

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ATLANTA - Human rights activists and supporters for convicted killer Troy Anthony Davis turned in 4,000 letters Tuesday asking state officials to grant clemency for the Savannah man scheduled for execution next week.

Davis  Special
Special
Davis

Mr. Davis has been on death row for 15 years for the fatal shooting of an off-duty police officer in 1989.

His attorneys have filed numerous appeals, pointing out that several witnesses who originally testified against Mr. Davis, 38, have since reversed their statements and said they were pressured to point the blame at Mr. Davis.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently rejected a request to review the case.

Mark Allen MacPhail was shot while trying to break up a fight at a Greyhound bus station in Savannah.

The 27-year-old father of two had been working in a private security job.

Two years later, a jury convicted Mr. Davis for the slaying.

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles will hold a clemency hearing Monday, the day before Mr. Davis is scheduled to die by lethal injection.

"If the board looks this case with fresh eyes, its members will see the complete absence of physical evidence and the now recanted testimony that was the basis for Mr. Davis' conviction," Larry Cox, the executive director of Amnesty International USA, said during a press conference outside the state board offices.

"Our intent is not to add to the terrible pain that was so cruelly inflicted upon the MacPhail family years ago. As a human rights organization, we cannot ignore one injustice as we highlight another."

Mr. MacPhail's widow, Joan, recently told the Savannah Morning News she plans to attend the clemency hearing.

She said she supported the death-penalty sentence at the trial.

An "extraordinary motion" for a new trial also is pending in Chatham County Superior Court, but Mr. Davis' attorneys said they are placing most of their hopes for a last-minute stay with the clemency board.

"The parole board is the failsafe," said Mr. Davis' lawyer, Jason Ewart.

Reach Vicky Eckenrode at (678) 977-4601 or vicky.eckenrode@morris.com.

Comments (13) Add comment
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patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 07/11/07 - 05:06 am
0
0
He was guilty then but is

He was guilty then but is innocent now? That's going to be a tough sell.

naugliberal
0
Points
naugliberal 07/11/07 - 05:43 am
0
0
Maybe they were wrong then.

Maybe they were wrong then. It does happen.

pofwe
5
Points
pofwe 07/11/07 - 06:02 am
0
0
Grease him up. He'll fry

Grease him up. He'll fry quicker.

amazed1
0
Points
amazed1 07/11/07 - 06:06 am
0
0
Why did it take so many years

Why did it take so many years to come to this conclusion?

WorriedAboutOurFuture
16
Points
WorriedAboutOurFuture 07/11/07 - 08:46 am
0
0
Witnesses who recant bring

Witnesses who recant bring verdicts into question, especially when the evidence in a case is circumstantial rather than physical. Being absolutely certain we've got the right culprit, based on irrefutable physical evidence or a verifiably uncoerced confession, should be the rule for any execution. The old saw definitely applies here: "When in doubt, don't." It's a man's life and not something disposable, especially as an act of vengeance, which is all it would be if the guy truly is innocent. It's just really bad karma to kill innocent people, even by mistake. Personally, I'd rather let a killer delay judgment day a while longer than do that.

bone
23
Points
bone 07/11/07 - 08:55 am
0
0
waof, i agree completely: if

waof, i agree completely: if physical or other conclusive evidence is not present, then the death penalty should not be possible. BUT, i don't know if i believe larry cox's assertion that there is a "complete absence of physical evidence."

jdcooper
0
Points
jdcooper 07/11/07 - 10:47 am
0
0
Put it on pay-per-view and

Put it on pay-per-view and give the proceeds to the victim's family!

usjultd
0
Points
usjultd 07/11/07 - 11:44 am
0
0
Several witnesses who

Several witnesses who originally testified against Mr. Davis, 38, have since reversed their statements and said they were pressured to point the blame at Mr. Davis. These folks lied and put an innocent man in prision. I pray that if Mr. Davis is innocent that he is released. I also believe that the witnesses who lied should have to pay some concequences.

I also feel bad for the MacPhail family.

WorriedAboutOurFuture
16
Points
WorriedAboutOurFuture 07/11/07 - 12:06 pm
0
0
It might be good to deal

It might be good to deal harshly with the law enforcement people who pressured the witnesses into giving less-than-true statements. There a lot of culpability there if that actually happened. It is an abuse of power and authority.

PlayaFace
0
Points
PlayaFace 07/11/07 - 03:13 pm
0
0
GOD.... really?

GOD....

really?

WorriedAboutOurFuture
16
Points
WorriedAboutOurFuture 07/11/07 - 04:15 pm
0
0
LOL!!! Too funny!

LOL!!! Too funny!

rzombie125
11
Points
rzombie125 07/11/07 - 05:13 pm
0
0
I say if you're a witness

I say if you're a witness that sends someone to prison and you change your story later, that you should go to prison for same amount of time they did.

We all gods children
0
Points
We all gods children 07/11/07 - 06:09 pm
0
0
All we can do is pray,I hope

All we can do is pray,I hope to god they don't put an innocent man to sleep for good,Something just ain't right about this case. Please get it right before its to late, don't kill this man and the next day you find out he was innocent it have happen before.The only thing that is 100% is DEATH no coming back.

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