Monday, August 17, 2009

Attend death penalty meeting/Court says Troy Davis can present evidence

 The Coalition Against the Death Penalty will meet Tues., Aug. 18 at 7 PM at the AFSC, 4806 York Road.  Agenda items will include getting the men off of Maryland’s death row, the Troy Davis case and the new lethal injection protocols.  Call 410-488-6767 or 443-838-3221. Email bcadp @ Go to

Court says Troy Davis can present evidence
Condemned killer on death row for murder of off-duty police officer

By Bill Rankin

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
11:35 a.m. Monday, August 17, 2009

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday gave Troy Anthony Davis the chance to present evidence in court that the condemned man has said for years will clear him of the murder of a Savannah police officer.

The high court ordered a federal judge to “receive testimony and findings of fact as to whether evidence that could not have been obtained at the time of trial clearly establishes [Davis’s] innocence.”

Justice Antonin Scalia, joined by Justice Clarence Thomas, issued a dissent, saying the federal judge assigned to hear the case will not be able to grant Davis relief. “It becomes stranger still when one realizes that the allegedly new evidence we shunt off to be examined by the district court has already been considered (and rejected) multiple times,” Scalia wrote.

But Justice John Paul Stevens cited prior court precedent that said it would be “an atrocious violation of our Constitution and the principles upon which it is based” to execute an innocent man.

“Imagine a petitioner in Davis’s situation who possesses new evidence conclusively and definitively proving, beyond any scintilla of doubt, that he is an innocent man,” Steven wrote. “The dissent’s reasoning would allow such a petitioner to be put to death nonetheless.”

Davis sits on death row for the killing of off-duty Savannah police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail in 1989. His bid to the nation’s highest court was his last chance in the court system.

Since Davis’s 1991 trial, seven of nine state witnesses have recanted their testimony and other witnesses have implicated Sylvester “Redd” Coles as the shooter. Coles, who has denied killing MacPhail, was at the scene and was the first person to implicate Davis in the shooting.

In May, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, by a 2-1 vote, rejected Davis’s last appeal.

MacPhail’s family and Chatham County prosecutors have long contend Davis is the real killer and should be put to death for the slaying. But Davis’s claims of innocence have attracted international attention, with former President Jimmy Carter and Pope Benedict XVI calling for Davis not to be put to death.

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Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at]


"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs


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