Convicted killer won't get retrial

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ATLANTA --- A divided Georgia Supreme Court turned away an appeal by convicted murderer Troy Anthony Davis on Monday, dealing a severe blow to his quest for a new trial but leaving his family and supporters vowing to continue working to free him.

Martina Davis-Correia, sister of convicted murderer Troy Anthony Davis, hugs a supporter Monday after a decision rejecting Mr. Davis' appeal for a new trial.  Morris News Service
Morris News Service
Martina Davis-Correia, sister of convicted murderer Troy Anthony Davis, hugs a supporter Monday after a decision rejecting Mr. Davis' appeal for a new trial.

The 4-3 decision, issued early Monday, caps an appeal that has drawn national attention from anti-death-penalty groups such as Amnesty International, which argues that Mr. Davis' capital conviction in the 1989 slaying of off-duty Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail might execute an innocent man.

Seven of nine eyewitnesses who helped convict Mr. Davis in 1991 have since recanted their testimony. The high court's majority opinion said it took those arguments into account in issuing its ruling.

"Particularly in this death-penalty case, we have endeavored to look beyond bare legal principle ... to the core question of whether a jury presented with Davis' allegedly-new testimony would probably find him not guilty or give him a sentence other than death," Justice Harold Melton wrote for the majority.

The evidence, wrote Justice Melton, was not enough to grant Mr. Davis' appeal.

Prosecutors noted during last fall that most of the recanted witness statements offered by Mr. Davis' lawyers weren't taken under oath, as was the original testimony. They also argued that Mr. Davis' attorneys should have raised their concerns earlier in the appeal process.

Mr. Davis' family and supporters slammed the ruling.

"It is outrageous that four of seven justices are putting technicalities before my brother's life," said Martina Davis-Correia, Mr. Davis' sister.

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Duderotomy 03/18/08 - 05:21 am
I am supporter of the death

I am supporter of the death penalty. Not for it's purported impact on other criminals but for the basic fact that a dead man can't kill twice. Having said this and not knowing anything about this case, I sure hope there is lot more to this story because I can't imagine what it would be like to be in prison for a crime I didn't commit much less being put to death for it.

genbartow 03/18/08 - 04:36 pm
He was tried and convicted.

He was tried and convicted. Then his lawyers have spent 18 years brainstorming the law and chiseling away at the facts presented. And they expect to change the verdict based on unsworn statements and heresay? No way.
How did 3 vote for this charade.

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