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Friday, November 5, 2010

Outlook grim for death row inmate Troy Davis as another appeal is denied

Troy Davis
  • Troy Davis
Back in August, when Federal Judge William T. Moore ruled that Georgia death row inmate Troy Davis had failed to prove his innocence during a landmark evidentiary hearing held in June, one of the only glimmers of hope for Davis, his attorneys and the human rights community that's rallied in his support, was that he'd have the opportunity to appeal in the U.S. 11th District Court of Appeals.

But, today that court denied Davis' appeal. The panel of judges opined that the appeal lies with the U.S. Supreme Court — not the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals — and explained that there was "doubt" that their court had jurisdiction "to hear an appeal from its finding that Davis did not establish his innocence of the murder conviction."

Since he was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1989 murder of Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail, evidence surfaced that many believe indicates that Davis was convicted erroneously. Davis' defense had the opportunity to present that evidence — mostly in the form of recanted witness testimonies — in June before In the end, Davis' attorneys were unable to overcome the almost insurmountable burden of proof, which required that Davis prove his innocence beyond a doubt.

Wende Gozan Brown of Amnesty International says that her organization "remains concerned that Davis may be one step closer to execution despite the lingering doubts in his case."

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