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Why cry for Davis...! The victim’s family and the victim himself deserve that expresion of emotion. Davis was proven up by the courts to be a killer of a man who went to help in a fight & got murdered.

Davis a Georgia citizen has been executed, 20 years after he was convicted of the fatal shooting of a police officer and despite a plea for clemency from almost a million people worldwide.

Troy Davis, 42, who had continued to maintain his innocence, died by lethal injection at 11.08am, Georgia time (1.08pm AEST) after desperate efforts by his defence team failed to win a stay.

Madison MacPhail, daughter of slain off-duty Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail,   speaks about her late father, with mother Joan MacPhail at her side.Madison MacPhail, daughter of slain off-duty Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail, speaks about her late father, with mother Joan MacPhail at her side. Photo: AP 

His death was marked by last-minute drama when Georgia officials delayed the execution by an excruciating 3½ hours as they awaited a final ruling by the US Supreme Court.

Davis had been about to be strapped to a gurney to be injected, as state witnesses assembled to view his execution, when the schedule was interrupted. However the court ultimately denied him a reprieve.

Hundreds of supporters, gathered outside the jail in Jackson, about 60 kilometres south-east of Atlanta, fell into despair once the decision was known. There was a huge police presence to quell any eruption of anger.

Anneliese MacPhail talks about her son, Mark MacPhail.Anneliese MacPhail talks about her son, Mark MacPhail. Photo: AP 

The nation’s highest court was Davis’s last chance after Georgia’s judiciary rejected last-minute appeals from his defence team earlier in the day.

It was the fourth time that an execution date had been set for Davis, who was convicted of the 1989 shooting of 27-year-old policeman Mark MacPhail. The off-duty officer was shot in the chest and face when he sought to intervene in an argument in the car park of a Savannah takeaway.

Three stays had been granted since 2007, with Davis on one occasion coming within 2½ hours of being executed.

Protesters for Troy Davis gather on the steps of the Georgia Capitol building.Protesters for Troy Davis gather on the steps of the Georgia Capitol building. Photo: Getty Images/AFP 

The extraordinary legal case has put America’s death penalty in an uncomfortable spotlight.

Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide , pleaded for clemency in the wake of a series of court appeals and with seven of nine witnesses having recanted their original testimony, some claiming to have been coerced by police.

No weapon, DNA evidence or surveillance footage was found to link Davis to the crime. His defence team pointed the finger at a second man who had been with Davis on that evening and who later became the prosecution’s star witness.

Kimberly Davis speaks about her brother Troy Davis.Kimberly Davis speaks about her brother Troy Davis. Photo: AP 

Petitioners had included Pope Benedict, Nobel peace laureates Jimmy Carter and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a former FBI director and at least 40 members of the US Congress.

Davis’s advocates had included Amnesty International and the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, as well as the Innocence Project, which has helped exonerate 17 death-row inmates through DNA testing.

A New York Times editorial called the execution “a grievous wrong”. It said the failure of Georgia’s Pardon and Parole Board to grant clemency was “appalling in the light of developments after [Davis’s] conviction”.

This undated handout image from  the Georgia Department of Corrections shows death row inmate Troy Davis. A parole board in Georgia has denied a last-ditch clemency appeal on September 20, 2011 by Davis, a Georgia man set to be executed in a high-profile case on September 21 for the murder of a police officer. The case has attracted international attention and became a focus for opponents of the death penalty because seven of nine trial witnesses have since recanted their testimony and his supporters say he may be innocent.This undated handout image from the Georgia Department of Corrections shows death row inmate Troy Davis. Photo: Reuters 

“Across the country, the legal process for the death penalty has shown itself to be discriminatory, unjust and incapable of being fixed.”

Davis had spent Wednesday saying goodbye to about 25 visitors before refusing a last meal. He also spent time praying with his local pastor, who described the delay in his execution as “a human rights violation” and “a cruel and unusual punishment”.

Speaking through a lawyer on Tuesday, he said: “I will not stop fighting before I’ve taken my last breath. Georgia is prepared to snuff out the life of an innocent man.”

Davis’s defence team had sought a polygraph, or lie detector, test for their client before his scheduled execution in a bid to win a further stay, but that had been denied by prison officials.

Their last appeals to the judicial system were denied successively by the state’s Superior Court and Supreme Court, and finally by the highest court in the US.

Supporters rallying outside the jail were briefly encouraged when word came that the Supreme Court had delayed the execution just minutes before its scheduled start at 9am. But it quickly emerged that the delay was only temporary, while the court’s nine justices considered whether to issue a stay.

Under Georgia law, the state governor does not have the power to intervene. That power is delegated to the parole board, which on Tuesday ruled that the execution could proceed.

“The board has considered the totality of the information presented in this case and thoroughly deliberated on it, after which the decision was to deny clemency,” the board’s statement read.

Prosecutors and Mr MacPhail’s widow and mother all said they had no doubt about Davis’s guilt and that the correct  person was being punished.

“I’m hoping that this is the end for our family,” said widow Joan MacPhail before the execution. “We want to believe so desperately that this is it.”

The dead policeman’s mother, Anneliese MacPhail, said: “I will never have closure because that can’t be. But I may have some peace which I hope for. I certainly need it.”

Spencer Lawton, the retired prosecutor in the case, told CNN: “There is the legal case, the case in court, and the public relations case. We have consistently won the case as it has been presented in court. We have consistently lost the case as it has been presented in the public realm, on TV and elsewhere.”

Davis became the fourth person executed in Georgia this year and the 34th across the 34 states that retain the death penalty. Texas accounts for a third of executions. However, America’s execution rate has been declining since the death penalty was reintroduced in the mid-1970s.


It could be suggested that there is  a case for capital punishment, because of the brutality of some of the murders committed, and these require fit and proper justice to be administered and punishment  to suit which should include capital punishment.

However the risk is the wrongful conviction of a person etc.

Also  the death sentence should only be given under very tight guidelines that need to be assessed & only by a panel of suitably qualified persons not a single judge.

I for one am in favour of the death penalty but its application would have to be rigourously monitored & controlled.

There are far too many examples of cruel sadistic killers getting to live in jails whilst the victims are dead and their families go on suffering for the rest of their lives.

More consideration for the victims & their families is in order.

Troy Davis should be grateful he got a clean death & not like some of the gruesome execution methods I have posted here in this site only days before this posting. It is not the death penalty that is the issue I would think here but the concern that he may be innocent. The courts have ruled that he was found guilty and consequently sentenced.What is it that the death penalty protestors do not understand about that process.

We have heard all the arguements for and against the death penalty time and time again, and nothing but nothing has yet convinced me that we should abolish the death penalty. More to the point is that the system to pass down & administer the death penalty needs to be looked at to minimize the number of ‘mistakes’ that will happen

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