It was a strange afternoon. I checked CNN at around 4:15 PM PST. I thought I would see that he had been executed. Georgia was waiting on the decision of the US Supreme Court. Davis’ legal team filed an appeal with the SCOTUS after the Georgia Supreme Court denied the stay.
The SCOTUS eventually denied his stay of execution. Surprisingly, it took almost 3 hours for them to deliver the decision. I am thankful that they really took the time to discuss it. The fact that they did shows me that there was a lot to consider. I really think there was too much doubt. Troy Davis was executed at 11:08 PM EST last night.
It’s done. He maintained his innocence until the end. His last words:
“I’d like to address the MacPhail family. Let you know, despite the situation you are in, I’m not the one who personally killed your son, your father, your brother. I am innocent. The incident that happened that night is not my fault. I did not have a gun. All I can ask … is that you look deeper into this case so that you really can finally see the truth.
I ask my family and friends to continue to fight this fight.
For those about to take my life, God have mercy on your souls. And may God bless your souls.”
This case just made me sad. After reading blogs and stories over the last few days, one op-ed article stood out. Bob Barr is a former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, and he couldn’t have stated better or more accurately how I feel:
“In Davis’ evidentiary hearing the court presumed guilt and required the condemned to prove his innocence. Even the judge deemed the standard “extraordinarily high.” Proving one’s innocence of a crime is a potentially insurmountable task — one Davis was unable to meet. But while Davis was unable to “prove” his innocence, he established considerable doubts as to his guilt, prompting the judge to acknowledge that the state’s case against him was “not ironclad.”
I am a longtime supporter of the death penalty. I make no judgment as to whether Davis is guilty or innocent. And surely the citizens of Savannah and the state of Georgia want justice served on behalf of Officer MacPhail.
But imposing an irreversible sentence of death on the skimpiest of evidence will not serve the interest of justice. By granting clemency, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles will adhere to the most sacred principles of American jurisprudence, and will keep a man from being executed when we cannot be assured of his guilt.”
Even though we can’t undo what’s done, we can speak out when we see injustice. Hopefully, we can prevent other executions that carry large clouds of doubt surrounding them.