The 1989 murder case surrounding Georgia state inmate Troy Davis has the nation in a frenzy. On Tuesday, following hours of testimony and seven of the nine witnesses recanting their original statements the previous day, the Georgia Board of Pardons has denied clemency for Davis. He is scheduled to die by lethal injection tonight, Wednesday, September 21st.
In 1991 Davis shot a man, Michael Cooper, wounding him in the face. He then went to a nearby convenience store, where he pistol-whipped a homeless man, Larry Young, who’d just bought a beer, according to accounts of the case.
According to prosecutors, off duty officer Mark MacPhail rushed to the scene to help, but wound up being shot three times by Davis. They said Davis shot the officer once in the face as he stood over him.
A jury convicted Davis on two counts of aggravated assault and one count each of possessing a firearm during a crime, obstructing a law enforcement officer and murder. The assault and murder of officer MacPhail resulted in the death sentence.
Since Davis’ conviction, seven of the nine witnesses against him have recanted or contradicted their testimony. Davis’ supporters say the original witnesses were fearful of police and spoke under duress. They argue, he was the victim of a rush to judgment by police seeking justice for the death of one of their own, as well as widespread racial prejudice in the criminal justice system.
In the weeks leading up to Davis’ execution many celebs have also been involved in stopping this execution. The likes of Russell Simmons, Kimora Lee, Rev. Al Sharpton, and actor Djimon Hounsou, Solange Knowles and Jermain Dupri have all spoken out against Davis’ execution.
“This is one of the most egregious examples of injustice that I have seen in years.” the Rev. Al Sharpton said in a statement after the parole board’s decision.
However, procecutors are convinced they’ve got the right man and made the right decision, seeking the death penalty.
“We believe that we’ve established substantial doubt in this case,” said Stephen Marsh, Davis’ defense attorney. “And given the level of doubt that exists in this case, we believe that an execution is simply not appropriate.”
For more on this story, go to CNN.
What are your thoughts on the Troy Davis story? And if wrongfully convicted of Officer MacPhail shooting has he alread served his time for the shooting and assault of Michael Cooper and Larry Young?
Davis is scheduled to die at 7pm tonight.