Troy Davis' Execution Date Has Been Set For Oct. 27!
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Time and date set for Troy Davis execution
By Rhonda Cook
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
The state has set a time and date to execute Troy Anthony Davis at 7 p.m. Oct. 27, 2008 even as his advocates continue to insist Georgia is about to execute an innocent man. On Wednesday afternoon, Judge Penny Haas Freesemann in Chatham County signed a warrant for his lethal injection to occur between Oct. 27 and Nov. 3.
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The Department of Corrections then set the specific time and date for Davis to be executed for killing off-duty police officer Mark Allen MacPhail. This is Davis' third execution date in little more than a year.
The State Board of Pardons and Paroles stopped the first one the day before Davis was to die by lethal injection on July 17, 2007. The U.S. Supreme Court stopped Davis' second execution two hours before he was to die on Sept. 23 so the justices could decide if they would hear Davis' case.
Tuesday, the high court declined to step into the contentious debate over whether Davis is the real killer. MacPhail, a 27-year-old father of two, was working off duty Aug. 19, 1989, when he heard the cries of a homeless man being pistol whipped. MacPhail rushed to the parking lot to help. Davis turned from the homeless man and shot MacPhail before the officer could draw his gun, according to testimony. Witnesses testified that once the wounded MacPhail was on the ground, Davis shot him two or three times more.
Davis' case drew international attention after seven of nine key prosecution witnesses against him recanted their testimony. They claimed they had been pressured to say they saw Davis shoot MacPhail in a Burger King parking lot. Pope Benedict XVI and former President Jimmy Carter were among those challenging the fairness of the execution.
In a prepared statement Wednesday, Rama Yade, minister of state for foreign affairs and human rights for France, begged Georgia's Board of Pardons and Paroles to step in, even though the board declined to stop Davis' execution last month. "The European Union's many calls aimed at sensitizing the relevant authorities … and asking them not to proceed with [Davis'] execution have not been heeded," Yade said. "I would like to reaffirm once again France's opposition to capital punishment. Indeed, the death penalty undermines human dignity. Any judicial error in its application is irreversible and irreparable. " "He's innocent," said Jason Ewart, one of Davis' attorneys. "It's unfortunate that, without his day in court, Mr. Davis' evidence will never be heard, and it's a good chance an innocent man might perish for the sake of finality over fairness."
Ewart said the next step for Davis' volunteer lawyers has not been decided."We are considering all our options," he said. "The goal we've always had is to get the new evidence, including the recantations, in from of a judge so that judge can assess it." The officer's mother, Anneliese MacPhail, 75, on Tuesday expressed relief at the high court's decision. She said she did not plan to attend Davis' execution, though two of her four remaining children want to witness it.
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