From The Grio

Six days.

As of this writing, that’s how long Troy Davis has to live.

Convicted in 1989, a jury in a Savannah, Georgia courtroom said Troy Anthony Davis murdered an off-duty police officer in cold blood. Based on inconsistent statements from eyewitnesses, Davis received the death penalty.

Not unlike many people facing the ultimate sentence, Davis has always maintained his innocence. But, this time there’s reason to believe him.

No gun was ever found and there is no DNA or blood evidence. Nearly every prosecution witness has recanted their testimony in the 22 years since the trial.


Countless appeals have been filed, aided by newly sworn testimony offered regarding another man’s confession. Letters from world leaders, including former U.S. presidents, have been written and rarely seen rulings have come down from the U.S. Court ordering the case evaluated for a new trial — a trial that would never come. So for fourth time in as many years, Davis is a dead man walking. He escaped the executioner’s charge once, coming within two hours of execution and having already eaten his last meal.

This time is likely his last.

All of Davis’ appeals have been exhausted and there is little chance, according to his attorneys, that his life will be spared. His only hope is the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles, a committee of five men and women appointed by the governor. If history is any guide, it is unlikely that they will rule in Davis’ favor.

Hoping against hope, on Thursday morning, advocacy groups submitted a petition to the board that included more than 660,000 names of people who support the bid to save Davis’ life. Some 100,000 more signed an online petition, sponsored by the NAACP. Many who signed on to the “I am Troy Davis” campaign surely don’t believe in the death penalty at all. However, many signers — including former President Jimmy Carter, Pope Benedict XVI and Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu — believe Davis is innocent.

They aren’t alone.

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