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Amnesty International Holds Vigil for Troy Davis in Downtown L.A..

by Robert Stuart Lowden Wednesday, May. 20, 2009 at 8:28 PM
rlowden@earthlink.net

Global Day Of Action For Georgia Death Row Inmate

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Members of Amnesty International staged a march and vigil today for Troy Anthony Davis as part of a global day of action for the Georgian death row inmate. His cause has been taken up by not only Amnesty International but by luminaries and organizations such as former F.B.I. Director William S. Sessions, Desmond Tutu, Pope Benedict , Jimmy Carter, The Innocence Project and the European Parliament. Members of congress as politically varied as Bob Barr ( a death penalty proponent ) to Rep.John Lewis have petitioned the Georgia parole board for clemency or a new trial in the Davis case.

Davis was convicted in the murder of an off duty Savannah policeman named Mark MacPhail who was responding to the screams of a homeless man being pistol whipped in a Burger King parking lot.

He was shot three times for his efforts.

In the case of Troy Davis there was no physical evidence, no murder weapon and seven of the nine police witnesses that helped to convict him have recanted their testimonies. Police pressure was cited as their reason for the false identification of Davis. Due to technical and procedural reasons Davis has been unable to get a federal court hearing on the reliability of the witness testimony used against him. One of the two witnesses that did not recant is a principle alternative suspect. The only other non-recanting witness identified Davis two years after the incident. That same witness stated on the night of the murder that they could not identify the gunman.

Troy Anthony Davis has been on Georgia's death Row for 17 years.

He filed a last chance appeal Tuesday to the U.S. Supreme Court. The recantations are the basis for his petition.

Davis’ execution has been stayed three time previously.



Davis has lost his bid for a new hearings on the recanted testimonies by one-vote margins in two important court rulings. The Georgia Supreme Court turned him down in a 4-3 decision In March 2008 while last month, the federal appeals court in Atlanta denied Davis’ appeal by a 2-1 vote.

The two federal appeals court judges in the majority said they viewed the recantations with skepticism and, after reviewing Davis’ claims, “remain unpersuaded.”

In a dissenting opinion, Judge Rosemary Barkett said to execute Davis in the face of the new evidence “is unconscionable and unconstitutional.”



Troy Anthony Davis maintains his innocence.

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AS USUAL Roving Counter Tuesday, May. 26, 2009 at 12:57 PM

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