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After a long, drawn-out battle with a state that was dead set against even considering the possibility that it had made a mistake, Troy Davis and his supporters won a major victory when they convinced a Federal court to hear arguments over whether there was enough evidence of a botched prosecution to justify a new trial. Today, that court heard those arguments.
Federal judges weighed Tuesday whether condemned inmate Troy Davis has presented enough evidence to stop his execution.Last month, a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta halted Davis’s scheduled execution — the third time his life was spared shortly before he was to be put to death. The judges called their stay “conditional” and scheduled arguments on the appeal.
One judge, Joel Dubina of Montgomery, indicated Tuesday he did not think Davis’s claims are compelling enough to warrant a new court hearing. Another judge, Rosemary Barkett of Miami, said she would like to see Davis’s innocence claims fleshed out in court.
The third judge, Stanley Marcus of Miami, closely questioned lawyers as to whether Davis had cleared the enormously difficult legal thresholds needed to allow his appeal to go any further.
Sounds like a split court. Dubina, a Bush I appointee, thinks not. Barkett, a Clinton appointee, thinks yes. And nobody knows what Marcus, another Clintonite, thinks. He seems to be keying on technical aspects and they can go either way in a case like this.
Still, Troy Davis is still alive and his lawyers have a strong case to present to a Federal court that for once isn’t loaded down with W’s ultraconservative ideologues.
Davis deserves a new trial. The first one was a travesty that Georgia should be ashamed of.
As I noted elsewhere, the Bush/Reagan Supreme Court turned down Troy Davis’ appeal for a new trial and did so without comment, as if they didn’t need to explain why they’re allowing an execution to go forward in a case where the evidence was so insubstantial as to be non-existant and 4/5 of the witnesses recanted, claiming they’d been pressured by police and coached by prosecutors eager for a conviction.
The State of Georgia is owed very little respect for the way this has been handled. Along with its other shameful acts – trying to bar the teaching of evolution in public school science classes, or allowing the GOP to steal both Senate seats as well as the governorship with doctored e-voting machines, slime campaigns, and vote caging, for examples – it is prepared to execute an almost certainly innocent man on skimpier evidence than would be required to make you pay a traffic fine.
The GOP has gone way too far, and killing a man to keep from embarrassing the cops who were played for suckers by Red Coles and the prosecutor who may have intimidated witnesses to get a conviction is a good place to get them to stop. We’ve had enough of this revenge crap, we’ve had enough of innocent people dying so the Pubs can claim they’re fighting crime – a bad, sick joke considering how many of them have been caught breaking the law, right up to the president.
I’ve been saying for a while that it’s time to fight back but it was TMiss who came up with a way to do it. Let Sonny Perdue and Coke know we’ll start a boycott of Coca Cola if Davis dies.
It was never much of a chance, not with the robotic law-and-order types conservatives have been able to get assigned to the US Supreme Court filling up the seats, but it was a chance. If there was enough pressure, enough noise, enough people asking uncomfortable questions, maybe even Fat Tony Scalia might have reconsidered for the sake of his almost certainly unpleasant legacy the way he did over some labor law – which he hates – when a woman got screwed. Again.
But it wasn’t much of a chance and now it’s over. The Supreme Court has refused to hear Troy Davis’ appeal for a new trial.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday cleared the way for Troy Anthony Davis’ execution, declining to enter a contentious debate as to whether the condemned inmate was the real killer of a Savannah police officer in 1989.
The court, without explanation, refused to hear his appeal even though seven of nine key prosecution witnesses have recanted their testimony since the 1991 trial. Just three weeks ago, the high court had halted Davis’ execution with less than two hours to spare.
The family of the dead officer, Mark MacPhail, is thrilled. They want Davis dead whether he’s the right guy or not, mainly because they want their part of this ordeal to be over.
The front page story – top dead center – of the Savannah Morning News wasn’t about Troy Davis’ stay of execution but about how disappointed Officer MacPhail’s family are that the execution has been put off.
Tuesday’s last-minute stay of execution for murder convict Troy Anthony Davis has left the victim’s family disheartened but still hopeful justice will be served.
“It hurt, honestly,” said Mark Allen MacPhail Jr. “It’s a big disappointment.”
I can understand why they’d want it to be over after all this but don’t they even want to make sure it’s the right guy before they fry him?
The thirst for revenge – on anybody, doesn’t matter who – is the reason the law was developed as an objective force rather than a nemesis. The hopelessly misguided (or deliberately obstructionist and vindictive) movement to make the families of crime victims “part of the process” has injected an element of revenge into our judicial process that is poisoning criminal law. It is less and less about justice than it is about getting back at somebody for a wound.
Frontier justice is attractive in the movies but only because they’re NOT REAL. In the actual world, it’s the next thing to vigilantism and shouldn’t be encouraged.
Five hours before Troy Davis was scheduled to die in the electric chair for a crime he almost certainly didn’t commit, the Supreme Court decided to consider whether or not to hear his plea for a new trial. A scant two hours before his execution time, the Justices ordered a stay until such time as they make that decision.
In its order, the U.S. Supreme Court said if the justices decline to accept Davis’ appeal, “this stay shall terminate immediately.” If the appeal is granted, the stay will remain in force until the high court issues its ultimate ruling on Davis’ appeal, the order said.
The decision is scheduled for Monday. As Thomas Nephew pointed out in his blog, newsrack, in turning down Davis’ appeals, the Georgia Board of Pardons and the State Supreme Court ignored some fairly heavy legal advice.
But the Georgia State Board of Appeals has already rejected a bid for clemency, unmoved by appeals from the pope, Jimmy Carter, and former FBI director William Sessions’s opinion that a closer look at the case is warranted.
The Georgia board can still change its mind; please urge them to do so here (Amnesty International USA). Meanwhile, if you’re the praying sort, now’s the time to start. Troy Davis’s execution is set for 7pm today.
The post was put up before the SCOTUS’ order, but the urgency isn the same. Troy Davis has one more week of life if the SCOTUS turns down his appeal. Click Thomas’ lionk and add your voice. We need everybody.