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Troy Davis Case, What Do You Think?


Summerbunny
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http://www.ajc.com/n...ll-1182615.html

Atlanta News2:55 p.m. Friday, September 16, 2011

Troy Davis' lawyers tell parole board there's too much doubt

By Bill Rankin

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

There is too much doubt about the case to allow Troy Anthony Davis' execution be carried out Wednesday, his lawyers are telling the state Board of Pardons and Paroles.

Davis' legal team said it has "abundant evidence" that another man committed the murder for which Davis was convicted and sentenced to death. The lawyers say they also have obtained sworn statements from three jurors who sentenced Davis to death at his 1991 trial, but who now express doubt with their verdicts and are asking that Davis be spared the death penalty.

The plea for mercy is outlined in a 60-page clemency petition released by the parole board on Thursday. Davis sits on death row for the 1989 killing of off-duty Savannah Police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail. The courts have repeatedly upheld Davis' conviction and sentence and prosecutors say they are certain he is a cop killer who should be put to death.

Davis' clemency petition notes that seven of the prosecution's nine key witnesses have either recanted or backed off their testimony. Others have come forward giving sworn statements that Sylvester "Redd" Coles, who was at the scene with Davis and the first to implicate Davis in the killing, has told them that he was the actual trigger man, the petition said.

The board is scheduled to consider Davis' request for clemency during a hearing on Monday. The five-member board has the sole authority in Georgia to commute a death sentence to life in prison without parole on life with parole. The board has not said when it will issue its decision as to whether Davis should live or die.

It will be the second time the parole board has considered Davis' case; three years ago, the board denied clemency, but the board has three new members since then.

On Monday, in a closed-door session, the board will first hear from Davis' legal team and its witnesses, and will then hear from prosecutors and their witnesses.

"We are hopeful that Georgia will take this opportunity -- as many other states have done -- to show that the integrity of capital punishment is best preserved by reserving it for cases where no doubt exists as to the guilt of the accused," one of Davis' lawyers, Jason Ewart, said. "In light of the doubt cast on Troy Davis's guilt by all the new evidence and witness testimony in this case, the execution of Troy Davis will only weaken the perception of the legitimacy and fairness of our criminal justice system and capital punishment in particular."

Davis' innocence claims have spawned an outpouring of attention around the world. A march, led by Amnesty International and the NAACP, is planned today at 6 p.m., beginning at Woodruff Park and ending with a prayer vigil at Ebenezer Baptist Church. On Thursday, Davis' supporters gave the parole board 15 boxes of petitions with the names of 663,000 people opposing Wednesday's execution.

Brenda Forrest, a juror who sentenced Davis to death, said the new evidence would have had a great impact on her verdict, the petition said, citing her Sept. 12 sworn affidavit.

"I feel, emphatically, that Mr. Davis cannot be executed under these circumstances," Forrest said. "To execute Mr. Davis in light of this evidence and testimony would be an injustice to the victim's family [and] to the jury who sentenced Mr. Davis."

Another juror, Theodosia Johnston, said that after reviewing new information "I would have had doubt that Troy Davis was the person who shot Officer MacPhail," the petition said. "I do not want Troy Davis to be executed."

The petition also says there is new evidence and testimony that debunks the state's ballistics evidence and any suggestion that a pair of short pants found by police in a washing machine at the Davis home had blood on them. There are even more witnesses who now say that Coles told them he was the actual trigger man than there were when the parole board considered clemency the first time, the petition said.

"When all of the evidence -- both old and new -- is considered, the doubts in this case are so compelling that clemency is fully warranted," the petition said. "Indeed, short of those cases where DNA evidence conclusively proves the innocence of the defendant, if a commutation based on residual doubt is not appropriate here, it is difficult to imagine a death penalty case in which it would be appropriate."

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My dad and brother are cops, and I have little sympathy for cop killers, that hits too close to home. But I can't help but take note of the fact that so many witnesses (7 of the 9) have recanted. Some saying that they lied to lessen the time they would get for crimes they had committed. That disgusts me. You force people to chose between themselves and someone else they will make a decision. It seems that all avenues have been exhausted, this man will die tomorrow just after 7 pm. And before someone says you are a bleeding heart against the death penalty, let me say you are wrong. I don't think we use it enough, but the right person needs to be put to death. I really don't know what to think, I have been all the place with this one. And I usually side with the death penalty but something here just unnerves me.

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I don't know what to think, but honestly, I'm not a fan of the death penalty except in the rarest of cases. At the end of the day, the Innocence Project has forever changed my thinking on how we mete it out in this country. We're just too bad about putting innocent people on death row for me to think it's a penalty that should be used prolifically.

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Summerbunny, can you tell me more about the case? I can't find much even from all the ajc reports about it.

Specifically, did Davis have ANY part whatsoever in the death of the officer? Or was he just accused and found guilty?

I just want to be clear on whether he is guilty of anything, like being an accomplice.

Thanks

Joe

P.S. Not saying he is or is not deserving of death if he was a partner to the crime.

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Summerbunny, can you tell me more about the case? I can't find much even from all the ajc reports about it.

Specifically, did Davis have ANY part whatsoever in the death of the officer? Or was he just accused and found guilty?

I just want to be clear on whether he is guilty of anything, like being an accomplice.

Thanks

Joe

P.S. Not saying he is or is not deserving of death if he was a partner to the crime.

She just posted the AJC article. To my knowledge, she's not the Prosecutor of the case.

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=troy+davis+case

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I definitely believe in the death penalty too, but the right person should be executed. What I don't understand is, if the new evidence is so compelling, why didn't they grant clemency? Doesn't make sense to me.

I think the reason we don't get it is because we haven't been privy to hear all the facts. I doubt very seriously that Davis is innocent, however he may be not guilty - and there is a difference. The standard for a capital crime is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Apparently, even with the recanting of the witnesses, reasonable doubt is still not established. So there has to be more going on than what we have been allowed to know about. JMO...............

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I think the reason we don't get it is because we haven't been privy to hear all the facts. I doubt very seriously that Davis is innocent, however he may be not guilty - and there is a difference. The standard for a capital crime is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Apparently, even with the recanting of the witnesses, reasonable doubt is still not established. So there has to be more going on than what we have been allowed to know about. JMO...............

I think the reason we don't get it is because we haven't been privy to hear all the facts. I doubt very seriously that Davis is innocent, however he may be not guilty - and there is a difference. The standard for a capital crime is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Apparently, even with the recanting of the witnesses, reasonable doubt is still not established. So there has to be more going on than what we have been allowed to know about. JMO...............

Yea, I am sure we don't know all of the facts.

Stupid qoute button! :angry:

Edited by biloxifalcon
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She just posted the AJC article. To my knowledge, she's not the Prosecutor of the case.

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=troy+davis+case

Yes I KNOW that Bob. Why the smart-alecky comment, when I was addressing summerbunny, not you?

I simply asked the lady IF she knew more details aside from this article. Why must you get YOUR man-panties all in a wad?

sheesh!

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After reading everything I can find on this case, I have no doubt he is guilty. He was convicted for shooting another guy in the face just a few hours before he shot the cop......and it's interesting how many stories you will see that leave that part out.

I heard that, and also that the bullets in the cop matched the gun used to shoot the other guy. That's pretty strong evidence.

Doesn't change my view of the death penalty, but it does make me feel better about this particular case.

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I heard that, and also that the bullets in the cop matched the gun used to shoot the other guy. That's pretty strong evidence.

Doesn't change my view of the death penalty, but it does make me feel better about this particular case.

I am aware of what Peyton is talking about. The problem I have is the murder weapon was never found and the "witness" who told police it was Davis was with Davis when the crime was committed and also owned the same type weapon. Too many questions, should he be free I don't think so but put to death I def don't think so.

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I am aware of what Peyton is talking about. The problem I have is the murder weapon was never found and the "witness" who told police it was Davis was with Davis when the crime was committed and also owned the same type weapon. Too many questions, should he be free I don't think so but put to death I def don't think so.

If you read up on the case, you see that 20 years ago there were bunches and bunches of witnesses that said it was Davis. Now, the anti death penalty crowd has gotten some of those witnesses to change their story, but I've read some of the "recant" statements, and most of them are recanting statements made to the police, not at the trial.

If Davis is innocent, then his lawyers are the dumbest people on earth. They were given their evidentiary hearing, and they failed to call Sylvester Coles as a witness.

That tells me that those guys know that Sylvester Coles didn't do the shooting.

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If you read up on the case, you see that 20 years ago there were bunches and bunches of witnesses that said it was Davis. Now, the anti death penalty crowd has gotten some of those witnesses to change their story, but I've read some of the "recant" statements, and most of them are recanting statements made to the police, not at the trial. If Davis is innocent, then his lawyers are the dumbest people on earth. They were given their evidentiary hearing, and they failed to call Sylvester Coles as a witness. That tells me that those guys know that Sylvester Coles didn't do the shooting.

Don't know where you are getting the "now" from but some of these witnesses recanted back in 1996. I can agree, I don't understand why Coles was not called either. Not sure if he could have even been compelled to testify. Maybe JDave or MDrake can answer that.

Here is my biggest issue! I understand deals are made all the time. When it comes to someone's life though, I can't be cool with the notion that somebody got a lighter sentence on something else by testifying. Like I said before, you force a person to choose between themselves and someone else they will make a decision. That is justice at any cost.

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Don't know where you are getting the "now" from but some of these witnesses recanted back in 1996. I can agree, I don't understand why Coles was not called either. Not sure if he could have even been compelled to testify. Maybe JDave or MDrake can answer that.

Here is my biggest issue! I understand deals are made all the time. When it comes to someone's life though, I can't be cool with the notion that somebody got a lighter sentence on something else by testifying. Like I said before, you force a person to choose between themselves and someone else they will make a decision. That is justice at any cost.

I'm not sure, and I'm not taking a stab at it because I don't get my bar results until October 28th.

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