Georgia Refuses to Spare Troy Davis' Life

Decision means tomorrow's execution will likely occur
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 20, 2011 8:23 AM CDT
Gail Crouch plays a fiddle as protesters gather outside a clemency hearing for Troy Anthony Davis across from the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta on Monday, Sept. 19, 2011.   (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal & Constitution, Curtis Compton)
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(Newser) – Troy Davis will die tomorrow. Georgia's pardons board today rejected a last-ditch plea for clemency for the death row inmate, despite calls from the likes of Pope Benedict, Amnesty International, and Jimmy Carter for his sentence to be commuted. The panel announced its decision after hearing hours of testimony from his supporters and prosecutors, and the AP notes that the decision leaves Davis with little chance of avoiding death by lethal injection, scheduled for 7pm tomorrow.

Davis claims that he was wrongly convicted of killing off-duty Savannah officer Mark MacPhail in 1989—calling it a case of mistaken identity—and in the hearing, his lawyers attempted to establish "substantial doubt." Three jurors from the 1991 case asked the board to grant Davis clemency, with one saying she now doubts the verdict they handed him; a Savannah woman also told the board that at a 2009 party she heard Sylvester "Redd" Coles, who was with Davis just before MacPhail was shot, say he was the killer, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Counters Mark MacPhail Jr., "Justice was finally served for my father."

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