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Troy Anthony Davis Granted Stay Of Execution

Troy Anthony Davis

Troy Anthony Davis (remember him?) was to be executed tomorrow. The problem is there is substantial evidence that not only is he legally not guilty, but that he may be provably innocent.

The bigger problem is that the Attorney General of the state of Georgia doesn’t give a crap, and wants him executed anyway, apparently just for the hell of it I guess. Punishing innocent people seems to be a fad in the Georgia Attorney General’s office.

There is some good news this evening, though. CNN is reporting that the state Board of Pardons and Paroles has granted a temporary stay of execution in Davis’ case, in order to hear evidence that may exonerate him.

ATLANTA, Georgia (AP) — A man convicted of killing a police officer won a reprieve a day before his scheduled execution, after his lawyers argued that several witnesses had recanted or changed their testimony.

The state Board of Pardons and Paroles on Monday granted a stay of execution of up to 90 days to Troy Davis, 38, who was convicted of killing a Savannah police officer in 1989.

He had faced a Tuesday execution date before the board’s decision, which came after less than an hour of deliberation. The stay means the execution will be on hold while the board weighs the evidence presented as part of Davis’ request for clemency. The board must rule by Oct. 14.

During the parole hearing, Davis’ friends and relatives spoke in support of the clemency petition, along with Rep. John Lewis, an Atlanta Democrat and civil rights icon. Five witnesses who testified at the trial spoke to the board on Davis’ behalf, Ewart said.

Lewis did not speak to reporters after leaving the hearing, but he did issue a copy of his prepared comments to the board.

“I do not know if he is guilty of the charges of which he has been convicted,” Lewis told the board. “But I do know that nobody should be put to death based on the evidence we now have in this case.”

Davis’ lawyers say seven witnesses have recanted or contradicted their testimony that they saw Davis shoot the officer, saw him assault the homeless man or heard Davis confess to the slaying.

Three people who did not testify have said in affidavits that another man, Sylvester Coles, confessed to killing the officer after Davis was convicted. After the shooting, Coles identified Davis as the killer.

The Associated Press has been unable to locate Coles for comment, and Ewart has declined to say whether he knows Coles’ whereabouts. Coles was not at the parole board hearing Monday.

Filed under: Politics, Rants

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