At 8am today,the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles said it had considered all the information in Troy Anthony Davis’ case and carefully considered it before denying the condemned inmate clemency.
Davis is scheduled to be murdered tomorrow, Wednesday September 21st at 7:00pm (EST).
The board’s decision was released a day after it heard emotional testimony from Davis’ supporters and lawyers and then from prosecutors and the relatives of murdered Savannah Police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail, who was shot to death while working a second job in 1989.
Despite all the evidence of Davis’ innocence, MacPhail’s family expressed pleasure at the decision.
“We are ready to close this book and start our lives” said Anneliese MacPhail, mother of fallen officer. “This has been a long haul.”
“He’s guilty,” MacPhail’s widow, Joan MacPhail-Harris, said. “We need to go ahead and execute him.”
“What a travesty it would be if they don’t uphold the death sentence, MacPhail-Harris said on Monday after the meeting with the board. “It’s time for justice today. My family needs justice. He was taken from us too soon, too early.”
Their blind faith in the judicial system drives a wedge between the Whites & Blacks in the region. To Davis supporters, the family’s stance is equivalent to murder.
The NAACP and Amnesty International have enthusiastically supported the campaign to save Davis’ life.
“In moments of immense sadness, moments that shake the foundation of our faith in the justice system and in mankind, there are often no words that can adequately express one’s grief and outrage,” said NAACP President and CEO Todd Jealous. “Despite overwhelming evidence pointing to his innocence, the execution will proceed and Troy Davis will live his last day on September 21.”
Larry Cox, executive director of Amnesty International AIUSA (AIUSA), said it was “unconscionable” that the board denied Davis relief. “Allowing a man to be sent to death under an enormous cloud of doubt about his guilt is an outrageous affront to justice,” he said.
Calls for Davis to be spared execution have been made by numerous dignitaries, including former President Jimmy Carter, Pope Benedict XVI, former FBI Director William Sessions, former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Norman Fletcher and Larry Thompson, the former deputy U.S. attorney general. Davis’ advocates, including Amnesty International and the NAACP, have used social media to rally worldwide support. Last week, Davis’ supporters presented the parole board with the names of more than 663,000 people asking that Davis be granted clemency.
The Supreme Court is giving Davis an opportunity to challenge his conviction on the grounds that seven of the witnesses against him have since recanted their testimony against him. Yet Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas disagree with the majority decision of their colleagues. Justice Scalia doesn’t seem to have a problem with executing innocent people because he believes that it is NOT unconstitutional.
“This Court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who has had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is “actually” innocent. Quite to the contrary, we have repeatedly left that question unresolved, while expressing considerable doubt that any claim based on alleged “actual innocence” is constitutionally cognizable.”
What Scalia is basically saying is that it’s okay to execute innocent people.