Friday, June 25, 2010

Amnesty International "energized" following Troy Davis hearing

Posted By on Fri, Jun 25, 2010 at 5:42 PM

  • Joeff Davis/CL File

Yesterday evening —a day earlier than many had anticipated —Troy Davis's U.S. Supreme Court-ordered evidentiary hearing drew to a close in a Savannah courtroom.

Davis, who was convicted in 1991 of shooting and killing off-duty Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail and subsequently sentenced to death, was given the opportunity during the two-day proceeding to present evidence of his innocence, specifically evidence that wasn't available during his original trial. Several individuals who had initially implicated Davis in MacPhail's shooting testified that they did so falsely, many claiming they were pressured by police to finger Davis. On behalf of the state, seven police officers who were involved in the investigation testified yesterday, and denied having coerced or pressured anyone.

Laura Moye of Amnesty International USA attended the hearing and said that her group — which has been stringent in its support of Davis — is hopeful the court will rule Davis clearly established his innocence, a daunting task.

"This has ben such a roller coaster," said Moye, who's been following the case since 2005. "What we have learned in this campaging is that anothing is impossible."

She adds, "It’s really energized a human rights movement that startes rigt here in Georgia. You can't have a person face execution when so much doubt hangs over our heads. I hope this can be channeled in some kind of longterm change for our justice system."

Only time will tell, however, if Davis's case was strong enough to halt his execution. Judge William T. Moore has been instructed to submit his findings and recommendations, and ultimately it appears the Supreme Court will make the judgement, as well as decide whether it's "unconstitutional" for an innocent person to be executed.

Look for more on the Troy Davis hearing in the July 1 issue of CL.

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