Supreme Court Delays Decision on Troy Davis Appeal

The all-out efforts by activists from all over the country to win Troy Davis a new trial hit a stone wall in Georgia – which has done little it can be proud of throughout this episode – but may have frightened the bunnies of the Supreme Court into giving the case a harder look.

The SCOTUS promised two weeks ago that it would have a decision last week about whether it would hear the Davis appeal. It is now 2 weeks and the Court is still delaying its decision.

The U.S. Supreme Court apparently needs more time to look at an appeal from death-row inmate Troy Anthony Davis, whose claims of innocence have attracted international attention. The high court issued orders Monday addressing the appeals of numerous cases, but none as to whether it will accept or reject Davis’ appeal. Instead, the court, in a listing on its docket, said it will meet in a private conference on Friday to consider Davis’ appeal.

On Sept. 23, the court halted Davis’ execution less than two hours before it was to be carried out. The court’s nine justices then met in conference on Sept. 29 to decide whether to accept the appeal. Now, they will meet once more to discuss the case.

The court did not say when it will issue a decision.


Davis is appealing a ruling by a sharply split Georgia Supreme Court. His lawyers are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to declare that the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment bars the execution of the innocent and requires at least a court hearing to assess recantation evidence.

“It’s obviously a very important case and the justices are still considering it,” Carl Tobias, a University of Richmond law professor, said. “Maybe the justices are split about it and want more time to consider it.”

Yes, it’s an important case and half the Justices are seriously concerned over their reputations while the other half want to Do The Right Thing. Between the two motivations Davis may get his appeal after all. The delay is probably a good thing, as Tobias says. He also said it wasn’t unusual but in my experience it is a tad unusual for the Justices to promise an answer by a definite date, number one, and number two, to then miss that date by 2 weeks and counting.

I can only conclude that all the messages and agitating about the skimpy evidence in this travesty of a case has had an effect.

2 responses to “Supreme Court Delays Decision on Troy Davis Appeal

  1. Thanks! I really appreciate being able to find out what’s happening. Today is Troy’s birthday, another reason to think about him.

  2. Pingback: Implositions « The Mississippifarian

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