Earlier today, Georgia’s pardons board rejected a last ditch effort to spare Troy Davis from execution.
In 1991 Davis was convicted of the 1989 murder of Mark Allen MacPhail, an off-duty police officer. Despite questionable eye-witness testimony, at least eight witnesses recanting their statements all together, and testimony from a juror from Davis’ original trial saying she now has serious doubts about his guilt, the five-member pardons board declined to grant Davis clemency and save his life.
The news left Davis’ family and supporters distraught. After the decision, Braian Kammer, one of Davis’ lawyers said: “I am utterly shocked and disappointed at the failure of our justice system at all levels to correct a miscarriage of justice.”
Despite the attention the case has drawn and many calling for Georgia to spare Davis’ life, MacPhail’s family says he deserves to die.
MacPhail’s widow told the Atlanta Journal Constitution:
“He’s guilty. We need to go ahead and execute him.”
She continued: “What a travesty it would be if they don’t uphold the death sentence, MacPhail-Harris said on Monday after the meeting with the board. “It’s time for justice today. My family needs justice. He was taken from us too soon, too early.”
Davis’ case has been a rallying call for many anti-death penalty activists. Thousands have protested to save Davis’ life including former President Jimmy Carter, the NAACP, Amnesty International, Pope Benedict XVI, former FBI Director William Sessions, and many others.
Barring any last minute appeals, Troy Davis will be executed tomorrow night in Georgia.
*Photo courtesy of David Tulis of the AP