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Thursday, June 25, 2009

U.S. Supreme Court to consider Troy Davis case

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According to a story on Savannah's WTOC.com, the country's highest court will decide — perhaps as soon as tomorrow — whether it will hear the case of Georgia death row inmate Troy Davis, whose execution has been delayed three times based on claims of his innocence.

According to WTOC, the U.S. Supreme Court will have a conference today to decide whether to take Davis' case. The story also states: "Davis' sister, Martina Correia, says the Supreme Court could have a decision by Friday or Monday or it could be as late as this fall."

Seven of nine trial witnesses who helped convict Davis in 1991 have since recanted their testimony. The courts have consistently ruled against considering the recantations and other new evidence that suggest Davis might not have killed Savannah police officer Mark Allen MacPhail.

The U.S. Supreme Court delayed one of Davis' execution dates, but ultimately declined to hear the case. The latest appeal is based on a different legal claim.

More to come ...

UPDATE: The U.S. Supreme Court is considering an unusual — and longshot — habeas corpus petition filed directly to that court. According to June 19 story on Savannah's WSAV.com:

Davis’s lawyers have filed a habeas petition before the U.S. Supreme Court, but many assume that because of past rejections by the high court, that Davis’s last option may be a new trial at the local level.

Also, check out this L.A. Times story on Davis from earlier this month for some of the political complexities surrounding the case.

(Photo courtesy Georgia Department of Corrections)

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