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.)