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Despite tens of thousands of protests across the country and in London and France, and despite overwhelming doubt about the evidence presented in the case, the state of Georgia executed Troy Anthony Davis late Wednesday night.

This was Davis’ fourth execution date, and it looked like he might be spared again. A premature celebration broke out shortly after 7 p.m., the initial execution time, and many supporters and news media outlets mistakenly thought he was granted a stay of execution. Soon, however, the mood changed, and worry set in yet again when the crowd learned he was granted a temporary reprieve so that the Supreme Court could review the evidence. Four hours later, the high court declined to intervene and Davis was put to death.

Many have pointed to Davis’ case as a possible turning point in the fight to end the death penalty. Currently, 16 states have abolished capital punishment, and according to Ben Jealous, President of the NAACP, if 10 additional states get rid of the death penalty they can petition the federal government to prohibit capital punishment all together.

Before he died, Davis again proclaimed his innocence. According to local reporters, Davis looked directly at the family of Mark MacPhail and said he “did not kill your son, father, brother.” Davis also implored his supporters to continue to dig deeper into case and work to end the death penalty.

Troy Anthony Davis was pronounced dead at 11:08 p.m.

Despite what side of the death penalty debate you fall on one thing is clear: Nothing is gained by executing the wrong man. And in Troy Davis’ case, the amount of doubt present should have spared his life.

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  • D-Chubb

    Apparently, 60% of the American public still believes the U.S. should have the death penalty. If that’s true, it’s unlikely we’ll get rid of it any time soon. Then the evidentiary standards in capital cases on the state and local levels need to be extremely strict. And those standards need to be encoded in the law. At the bare minimum, a prosecutor should not be able to seek the death penalty if there is no PHYSICAL evidence linking the suspect to the crime.

    They have these sentencing standards for drug cases where people arrested with a certain amount of drugs get a specific amount of time. They should do a similar thing in capital cases. Don’t give prosecutors and judges any leeway on this issue.

    • D-Chubb

      Excuse me…state and national levels.

  • Nadell

    “So Thank you and remember I am in a place where execution can only destroy your physical form but because of my faith in God, my family and all of you I have been spiritually free for some time and no matter what happens in the days, weeks to come, this Movement to end the death penalty, to seek true justice, to expose a system that fails to protect the innocent must be accelerated. There are so many more Troy Davis’. This fight to end the death penalty is not won or lost through me but through our strength to move forward and save every innocent person in captivity around the globe. We need to dismantle this Unjust system city by city, state by state and country by country. I can’t wait to Stand with you, no matter if that is in physical or spiritual form, I will one day be announcing,
    I AM TROY DAVIS, and I AM FREE! Never Stop Fighting for Justice and We will Win!”

    part of Mr. Troy Davis’ letter.

    God bless his spirit and his family during this time