Georgia Man Faces Death Despite Collapsed Case

Since 1996, feds rarely step in on capital cases
By Max Brallier,  Newser User
Posted Jul 16, 2007 5:29 PM CDT
Georgia Man Faces Death Despite Collapsed Case
This undated photo released by the Georgia Department of Corrections shows death-row inmate Troy Davis. Davis, a convicted killer of a police officer, said Monday, July 9, 2007, that if the state puts him to death next week as scheduled it will be executing an innocent man. Davis, 38, told The Associated...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – A Georgia man is scheduled to be executed tomorrow even though the case against him has largely collapsed. Witnesses have recanted their statements and one confessed to lying in the trial of Troy Davis, convicted of murdering an off-duty cop in 1989. Prosecutors say the recanted testimony is not significant enough, and it came too late, the Washington Post reports.

Legal scholars say the case demonstrates the diminished role of federal courts in providing new trials in capital cases. Prior to the passage of a 1996 law limiting the justifications for overturning a death sentence, federal courts would step in and grant new trials to 45% of death row inmates. In the years since that number has dropped to 10%.  (Read more death penalty stories.)

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