Georgia State Supreme Court Upholds Death Sentence Against Troy Davis

This case is another example of the unjust and racist nature of the death penalty. The case against Troy Davis consisted entirely of “witness” testimony, which were full inconsistencies throughout the trial. On that basis alone, Davis was convicted and placed on death row.

Help Save Troy Davis!


March 17, 2008

USA: Amnesty International Decries Ruling in Troy Davis Case

GA Supreme Court Decision is ‘Simply Stunning;’ U.S. ‘Has Shrugged Off the Very Notion of Justice at Every Level’ in Davis Case

(Atlanta) — Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) decried today’s Georgia Supreme Court decision to deny a new trial for Troy Anthony Davis, who has been on death row for more than 16 years despite significant concerns regarding his innocence. The human rights organization, which has collected more than 60,000 petition signatures while campaigning for Davis, said the ruling demonstrates a blatant disregard for justice, and asserted that the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles must grant clemency in his case.

“The claim that evidence in Davis’ favor was not sufficient to reopen his case is simply stunning,” said Larry Cox, executive director of AIUSA. “In turning a blind eye to the realities of the case, the legal system has shrugged off the very notion of justice at every level, from Savannah to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Board of Pardons must recognize that a blind adherence to technicalities cannot trump a concerted search for the truth, especially when a human being’s life is at stake.”

The Georgia State Supreme Court decided 4-3 against a new trial or evidentiary hearing, with the majority ruling that the Savannah trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying Davis’ extraordinary motion for new trial without first conducting a hearing.

Amnesty International maintains that the case has been tainted from the start, with a questionable police investigation, a lack of funding to ensure adequate defense, and an increasingly restrictive appeals process, which has thwarted attempts to present new evidence in the case. In the wake of the state Supreme Court decision, the human rights organization is once again calling for the Georgia Board of Pardon and Paroles to commute the death sentence for Davis due to the troubling facts of the conviction.

Troy Davis was convicted of the murder of Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail in 1991. Davis was convicted solely on the basis of witness testimony, and seven of the nine non-police witnesses have since recanted or changed their testimony. No murder weapon was found and no physical evidence linked Davis to the crime. Several cited police coercion, and others fear of one of the remaining two witnesses, whom they allege actually committed the crime.

“With this decision, the Supreme Court is ignoring the fundamental flaws that underlie the death penalty in Georgia and in Troy Davis’s case,” said Jared Feuer, Southern Regional Director of AIUSA. “As a result, we will continue to advocate for a re-examination of his sentence and of Georgia’s use of capital punishment. Officer MacPhail’s life was cut tragically short, and his family and the people of Georgia deserve justice. This will not be accomplished by executing a man with a strong case of innocence.”


CONTACT: Wende Gozan at 212-633-4247
Or Jared Feuer at 404-876-5661 x14


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