More than three hours after Troy Davis's original execution time, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Davis's request for a stay of execution late Wednesday night.
Davis had made an 11th-hour appeal to the Supreme Court seeking to stop Georgia authorities from executing him. State and federal judges had repeatedly ruled against granting him a new trial.
Earlier in the day, President Obama refused to weigh in on the pending execution. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said it would not be appropriate for the president of the United States to weigh in on specific cases like this one, which is a state prosecution.
Davis was originally scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection at 7 p.m EST.
Following the Georgia pardon and parole board's denial of clemency Tuesday, the NAACP and Amnesty International gathered on the steps of the Georgia State Capitol to rally in support of Davis and condemn the board’s decision. Both organizations asked supporters to keep pressure on District Attorney Larry Chisolm and ask that he stop the execution and they have planned additional protests and vigils ahead of the execution.
Amnesty International has dubbed Wednesday, Sept. 21 a “Day of Vigil,” and the organization is asking supporters to wear black arm bands in support of Davis and inform others about his plight. Similarly, the NAACP is calling on members to join them in solidarity, prayer and fasting on Wednesday, suggesting supporters gather with friends and family to talk about Davis’s life.
Davis has refused his last meal and plans to spend his final hours in the company of friends, family and supporters.
The controversy surrounding Davis’s execution stems from his 1991 conviction of the murder of Georgia police officer Mark MacPhail. His conviction rested solely upon eyewitness testimony and all but two of the original non-police witnesses have recanted or contradicted their testimony implicating Davis as the shooter. Additionally, no murder weapon was ever found nor is there any DNA evidence or fingerprints linking Davis to the crime. Davis’s defense and advocates in support of Davis say that there exists too much doubt over whether Davis actually committed the crime.
(Photo: AP /Atlanta Journal & Constitution, Curtis Compton)