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kurth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 01:25 AM
Original message
Execution Of Ga. Man Near Despite Recantations
Execution Of Ga. Man Near Despite Recantations
Some Witnesses Now Say He Is Innocent
By Peter Whoriskey
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, July 16, 2007; A01

SAVANNAH, Ga. -- A Georgia man is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on Tuesday for killing a police officer in 1989, even though the case against him has withered in recent years as most of the key witnesses at his trial have recanted and in some cases said they lied under pressure from police. Prosecutors discount the significance of the recantations and argue that it is too late to present such evidence. But supporters of Troy Davis, 38, and some legal scholars say the case illustrates the dangers wrought by decades of Supreme Court decisions and new laws that have rendered the courts less likely to overturn a death sentence.

Three of four witnesses who testified at trial that Davis shot the officer have signed statements contradicting their identification of the gunman. Two other witnesses -- a fellow inmate and a neighborhood acquaintance who told police that Davis had confessed to the shooting -- have said they made it up. Other witnesses point the finger not at Davis but at another man. Yet none has testified during his appeals because federal courts barred their testimony. "It's getting scary," Davis said by phone last week. "They don't want to hear the new facts."

The circumstances of the case have provoked criticism beyond the usual groups that oppose the death penalty. "There is no more serious violent crime than the murder of an off-duty police officer who was putting his life on the line to protect innocent bystanders," William S. Sessions, FBI director under presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, wrote recently in an op-ed piece in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. But "serious questions have been raised about Davis's guilt. . . . It would be intolerable to execute an innocent man."

At the heart of Davis's difficulties is a law passed by Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing -- the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. The legislation was aimed at bomber Timothy J. McVeigh but has had far broader consequences: It limits the reasons for which federal courts can overturn death penalty convictions. In Davis's case, it has helped block the exploration of witnesses' statements that they had lied at trial. Before the law, the federal courts intervened to provide "relief" to death row inmates -- that is, a new trial, new sentencing hearing or a commutation of the sentence to life imprisonment -- in about 45 percent of cases, though the rate was declining. But between 2000 and 2007, federal courts intervened to provide such relief to the death row inmate in about 10 percent of cases, according to a forthcoming study...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...
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alphafemale Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 01:29 AM
Response to Original message
1. I dread it, but I think they are going to kill him anyway.
This is the most flawed death penalty case I've ever heard about.
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Richard Steele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 01:33 AM
Response to Original message
2. Murder by "Justice System". THEY know he's innocent, and they're going to kill him.
Because it furthers their careers.

Just because it furthers their careers.

If there is a "Hell", there's a special level awaiting them.
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hvn_nbr_2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #2
14. Once upon a time, Americans used to say...
we'd rather let 10 criminals go free than to execute one innocent person.

Now the mantra seems to be that we'd rather execute 10 innocent people than not execute anyone at all.
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Mythsaje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 01:35 AM
Response to Original message
3. This is the main reason I oppose the death penalty.
I have NO tolerance for the notion of the government killing an innocent in MY name. And as long as the (in)justice system is as fucked up as it is, I have no faith in the government's ability to determine who is guilty and who is innocent when there's a life on the line.
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RubyDuby in GA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:46 AM
Response to Reply #3
16. And this is why I support it:: Christopher Michael Barrios
Molester, parents charged with childs murder
Body of 6-year-old Georgia boy found in trash bag on roadside


SAVANNAH, Ga. - A convicted child molester and his parents were indicted Wednesday on charges they molested and then murdered a 6-year-old neighbor boy, whose body was found last week in a trash bag dumped by a roadside.

Glynn County District Attorney Stephen D. Kelley said he will seek the death penalty against George David Edenfield, 32, who has a prior child molestation conviction from 1997, and his parents, David and Peggy Edenfield.

A friend of the Edenfield family, Donald Dale, was indicted on charges of concealing a body and tampering with evidence.



http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17722385 /


There are truly evil people on this planet.
This is my state. I want these people put to death.
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Bill McBlueState Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #16
20. don't confuse the issue
What do you think of the case in the OP?
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RubyDuby in GA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #20
23. There are too many doubts as to this man's guilt for him to be put to death
As I have said in this thread, I do not believe a person should be put to death unless it can be proven forensically - beyond all doubt - that a person is guilty of the crime they are charged with.

I think it would be a terrible mistake to put this man to death.

BUT...

There are people in this state who more than deserve the death penalty. There is no confusing that point. At least in my mind.
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Mythsaje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #23
31. Death is an easy out for people like this.
You want someone dead, do it yourself. I don't trust the government to do it in my name.
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 01:36 AM
Response to Original message
4. Grr, lethal injection
Edited on Mon Jul-16-07 01:36 AM by Hippo_Tron
I don't support the death penalty, but if we're going to have the death penalty, then tell the guy to get on his knees and blow his fucking brains out. It amazes me that we have the stomach to kill people, just not for the blood and guts.
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FourScore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 01:42 AM
Response to Original message
5. This is a real travesty.
If any good should come from this, then maybe it will be the impetus to outlaw capital punishment in this country.

Still, I hope somebody saves this man's life. He shouldn't be there.
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Sen. Walter Sobchak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 01:55 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. not in America,
Unfortunately in America, we feel so detached from the government that Americans have no sense of shame or responsibility for the actions of our government.

A string on controversial executions in Britain in the 1950's from men who were clearly innocent to a woman who was guilty as sin - but was a very attractive blonde, very quickly turned public opinion against hanging.

The biggest turning point was the hanging of Derek Bentley, who was a mentally retarded 19 yearold who was only hanged because the killer was only 16 and couldn't be. At the time of the actually killing for which he was hanged - he was already in police custody.

I had an oppertunity to go work for a federal judge, but I am too disgusted by this process to want anything to do with it.
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melody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 01:44 AM
Response to Original message
6. Compassion and benefit-of-the-doubt are signs of weakness to the wingnuts
I'm afraid that man is going to die, regardless of the evidence.
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countmyvote4real Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 01:49 AM
Response to Original message
7. Georgia is so wrong on many things. Why stop/start now?
Its ironic that the criminal colony that was established to rehabilitate criminals now supports the execution of fellow humans at large, let alone on hear-say evidence. I do not believe in a death penalty Not even for OBL or GWB. I believe that they should rot and suffer and contemplate (if thats possible) their crimes against humanity.

Somebody please tell me what happened here?


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RubyDuby in GA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:48 AM
Response to Reply #7
17. Please see post # 16
Some people won't suffer or contemplate. It is beyond them to realize that their crime was truly against all of humanity.

I don't think a person should be put to death unless forensically proven to have committed a terrible crime, but if they are guilty - godspeed. And no appeals. As their victims didn't get an appeal.

And I'm not a bible thumper, eye for an eye kind of person, but there must be justice for people who are taken from this world for no good reason.
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Bill McBlueState Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #17
21. so TV show justice, then?
"if they are guilty"

That's the whole point of the OP. Many who are thought to be guilty actually aren't. This isn't some primetime drama where the facts and their correct interpretation are known to everyone.
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RubyDuby in GA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:04 PM
Response to Reply #21
25. And what about "forensically proven guilty" did you not understand?
Don't waste my time with CSI: Atlanta crap.

As I told you above, the case that is the one in question is too shoddy to put a man to death for. The one I gave as an example is not.

You may be against the death penalty, fine. I am not.
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Toasterlad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #17
22. I'm Pro-Death Penalty, With Reservations
Your line about no appeals scares me. What if the prisoner was railroaded by a community that rushed to judgment? What if they were framed? The appeals process is there for a reason, and is needed perhaps nowhere more than in the case of death-penalty convictions. It is ABSOLUTELY VITAL we ensure that we do not execute innocent people. Otherwise, our country is no different from any tin-pot third world dictatorship, where the law means nothing.
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RubyDuby in GA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:08 PM
Response to Reply #22
27. I mainly threw in that line because of people who do terrible things to children, like the case I
pointed out above.

And not to be cheeky, but we are already fast approaching a tin-pot third world dictatorship. And it doesn't have anything to do with who Georgia executes. I know. That is neither here nor there in this instance, but I just wanted to get that out there.
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peacebaby3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 02:24 AM
Response to Original message
9. I do DP work in a neighboring state.
I know one of his attorneys. He's a wonderful guy and a great attorney, but there is only so much we can do in many of these cases because of the laws.

Newt Gingrich should pay a huge price for the damage he and the republican congress did by passing AEDPA in 1996. Clinton was running for re-election and tried to get away with signing it into law (just so he could look "tough on crime")but attached a signing statement. Didn't work and I'll never forgive him for that deed. He knew better when he signed it, that's why he attached the signing statement. It's all about politics.

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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 03:55 AM
Response to Original message
10. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
SeattleGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 04:00 AM
Response to Original message
11. This story sickens me.
The "justice" system is like a rabid dog that grabs onto something, and despite any and all evidence to the contrary, continues to hold on.

Gawd, I was there was something I could do to stop this.
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Pushed To The Left Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 04:02 AM
Response to Original message
12. I found this website that might help: Troy Davis Clemency Campaign
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 05:51 AM
Response to Original message
13. Effective Death Penalty Act: thank you for that crap Clinton.
I hope you sleep well, you compromised twisted shithead. The important thing is that we execute our victims 'effectively', not that they are actually guilty of the crimes for which they are accused. Hey but the politics were great, huh?
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RestoreGore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:13 AM
Response to Original message
15. This country is no better than China or Iran
In its lack of compassion and humanity regardless of political party.
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Coventina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:50 AM
Response to Reply #15
18. Really? When was the last time we executed anyone for adultery?
Or harvested their organs afterward?

We have our problems, for sure. But I'm glad I'm here and not in either of those two countries you mentioned.
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. According to this story Coventina...
We may be executing people for no reason whatsoever.
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Coventina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #19
26. This story is horrific, I'm not trying to defend it at ALL!
The US does terrible things.

But would I trade living here for China or Iran? No way.
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RestoreGore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 05:51 AM
Response to Reply #18
35. The death penalty is barbaric regardless of country
Edited on Tue Jul-17-07 05:52 AM by RestoreGore
And I believe thare are only seven that still practice it and THIS ONE is included on that list with China and Iran. That was the point so don't put words in my mouth. And where did I state I was not gratified to be in this country? That doesn't mean I cannot be ASHAMED of its practices. Have you actually read about what goes on in our own prison system? Do you know torture happens here as well? Do you think state sanctioned murder is anything but barbaric regardless of where it happens? Can you answer that directly without the interjections and innuendos?
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Coventina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 10:34 AM
Response to Reply #35
36. For the record, I am against the DP in any form, anywhere.
I am ashamed, as well, that it is practiced here in the United States. And yes, I am aware of the barbarism in our prison system, at home and abroad.

But having said all that, I still maintain that saying we're AS BAD as China and Iran is simply untrue.
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shanti Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:01 PM
Response to Original message
24. another black man to be executed
without cause :( - i knew it before i even saw his picture...
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:20 PM
Response to Original message
28. Even I (a pro-death penalty Democrat) would like to see this guy get a commuted sentence.
FYI for people from outside the area where this happened, here are two letters to the editor from today's paper.


Killing is always the wrong choice.

The current debate of the particulars regarding the pending execution of Mr. Davis distracts us from the real question confronting Georgians. We should be re-examining the basis of the death penalty. A fresh debate opening up the idea of the death penalty to scrutiny would reveal the death penalty as immoral because killing is always the wrong choice.

We can all agree the person who killed Mr. MacPhail made the wrong choice. Yet, as citizens of Georgia, we are about to participate in another equally wrong choice by putting Mr. MacPhail's convicted killer to death. And yes, killing is our choice.

It is we the people, not the state, or the courts who have decided killing is an option for some crimes. Admittedly, there are those in our society who could push the plunger and kill Mr. Davis with the same impunity of conscience that led to the killing of Mr. MacPhail. Such a terrifying lack of compunction, the very thing we seek to eliminate, is nurtured by the actions of the state - you and me.

However, the rude fact of the matter is that, by proxy and in our stead, we wash our hands of the deed and require a person we employ to kill in our names. This cowardly behavior should prey upon our consciences. But, instead, our actions are sanitized and witnessed by proxy. Unlike the salacious details of the crime and trial, and as if to coddle our civic conscience, the execution reports appear as briefs well inside the paper allowing us to easily hide from the fact that we have killed someone.

Our shame reveals the knowledge of a truth established in the study of both history and current events. Wherever it exists, state-sanctioned killing is an abhorrent evil. It debases every citizen.

MICHAEL J. JOHNSON
Savannah

Davis threatened classmate

I went to Windsor Forest High School with Troy Anthony Davis in 1984or 1985, I graduated in 1986. I do not remember graduating with him but I do remember him sitting behind me in Mrs. Todds science class with his arm in a cast the whole period kicking the back of my desk, asking me if I wanted to fight, and the most vivid of all Troy saying "I'll kill you cracker." This went on everyday for the whole period. It was my only class with him.

I remember reading the news after his arrest and just saying to myself, "He did it, I saw it coming years ago."

Troy Anthony Davis was a punk thug then and he deserves no mercy now, because he knew all along what he wanted to do with his life, and I believe that killing a white person was what he wanted to do.

The smirk on his face that the witnesses testified to is just what made him the killer that he is. July 17 will bring justice to more than The McPhail family, it will bring justice to me, 22 years later.

JOEY BLACK

Savannah


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kwolf68 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:29 PM
Response to Original message
29. I am against the death penalty in all cases

And even moreso when I see injustice like this taking place.
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TexasLawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:42 PM
Response to Original message
30. Do something--
I just wrote to Governor Sonny Perdue and to the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles. Urge y'all to do the same. Here's my letter, feel free to crib.


Clemency_Information@pap.state.ga.us


To the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles:

I am writing about Troy Anthony Davis, who will be executed tomorrow night at 7 pm unless the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles commutes his sentence.

I believe this would be a miscarriage of justice, and that Mr. Davis should be given a new trial. At the very least, his execution tomorrow should be delayed, while his sentence is considered.

Seven of the nine non-police witnesses said they were coerced by police and have since recanted their testimony. Nine witnesses have also implicated another man in the murder.

I urge you to do what you can to prevent this injustice. Make Georgia a fair and equitable place for all.

Sincerely,

<Texas Lawyer and family
address and return e-mail>

No reply necessary.
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emlev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #30
32. Will you create an OP? I'll help keep it kicked
Edited on Mon Jul-16-07 01:57 PM by emlev
This thread is good but I think the subject line needs to show that people can take action, and also that execution is imminent.

There's a page up on Amnesty International's site that makes it easy for people to send a fax.



PM me with the link if you create a new thread.
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emlev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #30
33. I created an OP focused on action. Will y'all help keep it kicked?
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alphafemale Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 01:30 AM
Response to Original message
34. He's Received a 90 Stay.
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