Ga. Inmate's Death Sentence Questions Justice

People hold pictures of Troy Davis i i

People hold pictures of Troy Davis, who was sentenced to death in 1991, during a protest to denounce the death penalty in the United States, on July 02, 2008, Place de la Concorde, in Paris. Mehdi Fedouach/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Mehdi Fedouach/AFP/Getty Images
People hold pictures of Troy Davis

People hold pictures of Troy Davis, who was sentenced to death in 1991, during a protest to denounce the death penalty in the United States, on July 02, 2008, Place de la Concorde, in Paris.

Mehdi Fedouach/AFP/Getty Images

A Georgia man on death row in a Georgia prison for killing a police officer lost his final appeal yesterday after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the matter.

Troy Davis, a 39-year-old African-American, was sentenced to death for the 1989 murder of Mark McPhail, a 27-year-old Savannah police officer who was working off duty as a security guard at a bus station. According to reports, McPhail rushed to help a homeless man who had been pistol-whipped at a nearby parking lot. He and was shot twice when he approached Davis and two other men.

Though witnesses identified Davis as the shooter, seven of nine key witnesses against him later recanted their testimony.

Davis' lawyers say their client was a victim of mistaken identity; and Davis maintains his innocence.

His supporters — including former President Jimmy Carter and Archbishop Desmond Tutu — had called for the case to be reconsidered.

The U.S. Supreme Court did grant Davis a reprieve on Sept. 23, hours before he was set to die by lethal injection. And Georgia's high court turned down bids for a new trial.

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision yesterday not to convene a full hearing clears the way for Georgia to set a new date for Davis' execution.

Virginia Sloan, founder and president of the Constitution Project, discusses the issue. The Constitution Project, based in Washington, D.C., is a bipartisan organization that seeks a consensus on legal and constitutional issues.

Wire services contributed to this report

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