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The Supreme Court unanimously rejected Troy Davis’ appeal. Davis was killed at 11:0PM EST in Georgia. Troy Davis’ case was long and complicated. Davis has been scheduled for execution four times, appealing the decision successfully each time.
Although Davis was scheduled to die at 7 PM EST on Wednesday night, a last minute plea by Davis’ lawyers to the Supreme Court, caused a delay in his execution while the Supreme Court weighed in on the controversial case. Troy Davis reportedly was strapped to a gurney waiting to die for four hours.
Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the jail while dozens of riot police officers barricaded the jail and arrested those that crossed the line. During the lengthy delay, Davis’ family remained quiet outside the jail. The slain officer’s family waited inside to watch the execution. Laura Moye, an organizer with Amnesty International, was on prison grounds all evening long.
“We are just profoundly saddened and upset,” Moye said. A prayer circle had formed around the Davis family earlier in the evening and remained through the execution. “We knew that it was a long shot,” Moye said. “Troy Davis has always had difficult odds. He’s faced executions three times…We always held on to our hope.
We got this far by believing in the power of human rights. Now it seems there’s nothing that can intervene to stop this execution.” “People are trying to rally around this family. Everybody wants to be there standing in support of the Davis family,” Moye explained. “A lot of people standing in disbelief.”
All around the world, protesters held demonstrations. Residents around the world tweeted, “Dear Georgia,” reminding the state that the world is watching their decision. Earlier in the day, many people weighed in on the impending execution. Moye said that the support Davis’ case has received from the public has been very moving. “What is a miracle in this case is so many people have raised their voices,” Moye said.
Troy Davis was convicted of the 1989 killing of an off-duty police officer, primarily of witness testimony. Since that time, Davis has maintained his innocence and the majority of witnesses have recanted their testimony. A group of former death row wardens wrote to Georgia authorities calling on them to halt the death sentence due to doubts about Davis’ guilt.
Among the group was the former warden in charge of the Georgia death chamber. “While most of the prisoners whose executions we participated in accepted responsibility for the crimes for which they were punished, some of us have also executed prisoners who maintained their innocence until the end,” the wardens wrote in a press release.
“It is those cases that are most haunting to an executioner.” Meanwhile, the family of the murdered officer and the case’s original prosecutor have argued strenuously for Davis’s execution, and have asserted that there is no doubt that he is guilty of the murder.
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