[Ppnews] Court issues stay of execution for Troy Davis

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Oct 24 13:47:13 EDT 2008

Court issues stay of execution for Troy Davis



The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Friday, October 24, 2008

The federal appeals court in Atlanta on Friday 
stayed the execution of Troy Anthony Davis, who 
was scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection Monday evening.

“Upon our thorough review of the record, we 
conclude that Davis has met the burden for a stay 
of execution,” the court said in a ruling issued 
by Judges Joel Dubina, Rosemary Barkett and Stanley Marcus.

The ruling is only the latest in what has been a 
roller-coaster ride of appeals for Davis. It 
marks the third time in 16 months he has won a 
stay shortly before his scheduled execution.

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court said it would 
not hear Davis’ most recent appeal.

Davis, 40, sits on death row for the Aug. 19, 
1989, murder of 27-year-old Savannah police 
Officer Mark Allen MacPhail. Since Davis’ trial, 
seven of nine key prosecution witnesses have recanted their testimony.

Davis’ claims of innocence have drawn opposition 
to his execution from leaders across the globe, 
including former President Jimmy Carter and Pope 
Benedict XVI. The European Union this week called 
for a halt to Davis’ execution.

Martina Correia, Davis’ sister, said she and her 
mother, Virginia Davis, were packing for the trip 
to death-row in Jackson when they got the news.

“I’ve been praying,” Correia said. “He deserves 
to be free. He at least doesn’t deserve to die for something he didn’t do.”

Correia talked on the phone to Davis after the 
court issued its stay. “To all the people around 
the world working hard and fighting for him, he 
wants to say thank you and this fight has to continue,” she said.

Neither MacPhail’s mother or sister had heard the 
news when a reporter called. The officer’s 
75-year-old mother, Anneliese, declined to 
comment until she had more information.

MacPhail’s sister, Kathy McQuary, cried.

Davis’ lawyers expressed relief over the court’s decision.

“This is the first step toward a court hearing to 
consider the new evidence — something we have 
been asking for for almost a decade now,” attorney Jason Ewart said.

Russ Willard with the state Attorney General’s 
Office said the office had told the Department of 
Corrections that the execution was off for 
Monday. In the meantime, he said, state attorneys 
are reviewing the court’s order and exploring the their options.

Earlier this week, Davis asked the 11th U.S. 
Circuit Court of Appeals for permission to pursue 
another round of litigation in federal court on 
claims he is innocent. The Antiterrorism and 
Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 requires such 
a request to be made to an appeals court before 
another federal habeas corpus lawsuit can be filed.

On Friday, 11th Circuit said the stay of 
execution is conditional. Davis must make a 
showing he can meet the “stringent requirements” 
to pursue another round of appeals, the decision said.

The court directed Davis’ lawyers to file a legal 
brief on their arguments within 15 days. The 
state Attorney General’s Office has another 10 days to respond.

In July 2007, the state Board of Pardons and 
Paroles issued a stay less than 24 hours before 
Davis was to be put to death. Last month, the 
U.S. Supreme Court stopped Davis’ execution less 
than two hours before he was to be executed by lethal injection.

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