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Dublin: -2°C Saturday 17 April 2021

Troy Davis' final appeal denied, execution to go ahead

After spending more than two decades on death row, Georgia inmate Troy Davis is to be killed by lethal injection today – despite Amnesty International insisting that the evidence against him has “fallen apart”.

This 1991 file photo shows Troy Anthony Davis entering Chatham County Superior Court in Savannah, Ga.
This 1991 file photo shows Troy Anthony Davis entering Chatham County Superior Court in Savannah, Ga.
Image: Savannah Morning News/AP/Press Association Images

THE FINAL APPEAL of US death row inmate Tory Davis was denied by a Georgia judge yesterday, paving the way for his execution today.

Davis has spent more than two decades in prison after being convicted of the 1989 murder of off-duty police officer Mark MacPhail, but has always insisted that he is not guilty.

After losing his appeal for clemency yesterday, Davis requested that he be allowed to undergo a polygraph test before he is killed by lethal injection, CBS reports.

Davis’ campaign has attracted the support of many high-profile figures, including former US president Jimmy Carter and Pope Benedict XVI. Amnesty International has also campaigned intensely on Davis’ behalf, pointing out that much of the evidence presented in Davis’ original trial was based on testimony that has since been withdrawn.

No physical evidence has ever linked Davis to the crime.
Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland, said: “The case against Troy Davis has collapsed. Almost all of the witnesses against him have retracted their statements.

“Jury members who convicted him have sworn they would not have done so had they seen the new evidence uncovered by his legal team. No physical evidence has ever connected him to the death of off-duty police officer Mark McPhail in Savannagh, Georgia in 1989.

“Despite this, the state of Georgia is determined to kill Troy Davis,” he said.
On the night of 27-year-old McPhail’s death, he had been working the night shift as a security guard in Savannagh, Georgia. He rushed to help a homeless man who was being attacked in the parking lot of a Burger King and was shot in the chest and head at point-blank range.

MacPhail’s family have long maintained that Davis is guilty of murder, reports AFP, with the victim’s 23-year-old daughter, Madison, saying on Monday: “The death penalty is the correct source of justice”.

However Amnesty International insists that Davis should be granted clemency, and has appealed for the public pressure to be maintained – even at the eleventh hour: “The death penalty is wrong. It is a violation of the most fundamental human right of all, the right to life,”  said O’Gorman. “But there is something profoundly sickening about the determination of so many to kill a man when the evidence against him has fallen apart”.

Last night, Davis issued a short statement through Amnesty USA, saying: “The struggle for justice doesn’t end with me. This struggle is for all the Troy Davises who came before me and all the ones who will come after me. I’m in good spirits and I’m prayerful and at peace. But I will not stop fighting until I’ve taken my last breath.”

An vigil for Troy Davis and his family will take place at the Unitarian church on Dublin’s Stephen’s Green at midnight tonight – at the same time he is due to be executed.

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