[Ppnews] Sister of Death Row Prisoner Troy Davis Responds to Supreme Court Ruling

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Mar 30 10:09:20 EDT 2011



<http://www.democracynow.org/shows/2011/3/29>March 29, 2011

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/29/shocked_and_appalled_sister_of_death



"Shocked and Appalled": Sister of Death Row 
Prisoner Troy Davis Responds to Supreme Court Ruling

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear 
the appeal of well-known Georgia death row 
prisoner Troy Anthony Davis, likely setting the 
stage for Georgia to schedule his execution. 
Davis was convicted in the 1989 killing of 
off-duty white police officer, Mark MacPhail. 
Since then, seven of the nine non-police 
witnesses who fingered Davis have recanted their 
testimony. No physical evidence ties Davis to the 
crime scene. With his legal appeals exhausted, 
Davis’s fate rests largely in the hands of 
Georgia’s Board of Pardons and Parole, which 
could commute his death sentence and spare his 
life. We speak with Troy Davis’s sister, Martina 
Correia. “No one wants to look at the actual 
innocence, and no one wants to look at the 
witness recantation as a real strong and viable 
part of this case,” Correia says. “I think there 
needs to be a global mobilization about Troy’s case."

Guest:
<http://www.democracynow.org/appearances/martina_correia>Martina 
Correia, anti-death penalty activist and sister 
to Georgia death row prisoner Troy Davis.
Related stories

AMY GOODMAN: On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court 
refused to hear the appeal of the well-known 
Georgia death row prisoner Troy Anthony Davis, 
likely setting the stage for Georgia to schedule 
his execution. Troy Davis was convicted in 1989 
of killing an off-duty white police officer, Mark 
MacPhail. Since then, seven of the nine 
non-police witnesses who fingered Davis have 
recanted their testimony. There’s no physical 
evidence that ties Davis to the crime scene.

His case has garnered widespread national and 
international support from figures like Pope 
Benedict, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former U.S. 
President Jimmy Carter, all calling for clemency 
in his case. John Lewis, the congressman from 
Georgia, has also weighed in. With his legal 
appeals exhausted, the fate of Troy Davis rests 
largely in the hands of Georgia’s Board of 
Pardons and Parole, which could commute his death sentence and spare his life.

Earlier this month, federal regulators seized 
Georgia’s entire stockpile of sodium thiopental, 
a sedative used to carry out lethal injections. 
This means even if the state sets a date for Troy 
Davis’s execution, it can’t carry it out until 
the Drug Enforcement Administration concludes its 
investigation or Georgia switches to another drug.

For more on these developments, I’m joined now by 
Troy Davis’s older sister, his staunchest 
defender, Martina Correia. She’s an anti-death 
penalty activist. She’s in Savannah, Georgia. 
She’s joining us on the Democracy Now! video stream from her home.

Martina, welcome to Democracy Now! Talk about 
this latest development, enormous setback for 
Troy, the Supreme Court refusing to hear his case.

MARTINA CORREIA: Yes, good morning, and thank you for having me.

We were really shocked and appalled yesterday 
when we received the news that the U.S. Supreme 
Court had denied Troy’s petition for a new trial 
and denied the petition to ask the lower courts 
to at least look at the new evidence. And so, you 
know, it was a total setback and shock to the 
attorneys, as well, because when the U.S. Supreme 
Court deemed in June of 2010 that the lower 
courts in Savannah should listen to the new 
evidence, they let one judge decide whether or 
not he felt he believed the new evidence enough 
to give Troy a new trial. And, you know, what 
this did was it set the stage, because they 
brought Troy back to the same community, same 
court system, same prosecutor that actually had 
convicted him initially. And so, when you walked 
into the courtroom, the judge had a demeanor that 
no matter what Troy’s lawyers had to present, no 
matter what the witnesses had to say, he already 
had a predisposed decision about denying Troy.

And then, when he sent that information to the 
U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Supreme Court­of 
course, the Court has changed its dynamic a 
little bit­has refused to hear the case, because 
everyone just keeps passing this, and no one 
wants to look at the actual innocence, and no one 
wants to look at the witness recantation as a 
real strong and viable part of this case, even 
though new witnesses have come forward. They were 
actually criminalized in the hearing in June and 
made to feel ostracized by coming forward. And it 
was really amazing, because the police officer 
who testified at the hearing could not remember 
anything about the case, and they actually had 
selective amnesia. So the judge said that he 
would believe the police officers over recanted 
testimony of any witnesses. So, it didn’t matter 
what we had to say or what we had to do, the 
judge had already predisposed his self against Troy.

And so, when we went back to the U.S. Supreme 
Court, we were hoping that they would give us 
some relief, because the judge did not even 
follow directions given by the Court. But the 
Court again decided that it doesn’t want to 
handle the case, and it just wants to pass the 
buck. So they did not deem to hear the case nor 
ask the lower courts to hear the case.

AMY GOODMAN: Martina, what was the most 
compelling new evidence that you felt needed to be heard?

MARTINA CORREIA: Well, there were three new 
witnesses who had heard Sylvester "Red" Coles, 
the other person involved in the case, who he had 
confessed to and that he had been bragging about 
killing a police officer. And two of these people 
had no criminal history. And, you know, the 
judge, when they got up on the stand, the judge 
was like, "You know, if you’re another witness 
going to get up here and say Sylvester Coles did 
it, you know, if Sylvester Coles is not here, how 
can we take your word over his?"

So, you know, they­one person had come from the 
hospital, having surgery, just to testify, and 
her voice was a little low because she had 
surgery on her throat. And the judge was like, 
"If you can’t speak louder, we’re not going to 
listen to your testimony." And she was like, "I 
just got out of the hospital. This is the loudest 
I can speak." Of course, we could hear her. But, 
you know, it was like the judge didn’t want to 
hear anything anybody had to say. And a lot of people­

AMY GOODMAN: Martina, we have 10 seconds. What do 
you think needs to be done right now?

MARTINA CORREIA: I think there needs to be a 
global mobilization about Troy’s case, and the 
fact that in the United States it’s not 
unconstitutional to execute an innocent person 
needs to be addressed once and for all by the 
U.S. Supreme Court. And I think that we should 
get as many people involved, pro- and non-death 
penalty people, to stand up and say, "This is not 
why we support the death penalty. Killing 
innocent people does not bring justice to be either family."

AMY GOODMAN: People can go to our website at 
democracynow.org for the whole archive of 
coverage of Troy Davis’s case. Martina Correia, thanks for joining us.




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