A crowd of more than 1,000 family members and supporters gathered in Georgia Saturday for the funeral of convicted killer Troy Davis, who was executed by the state on Sept. 21.
The funeral was held at Jonesville Baptist Church in Savannah and opened with a slideshow of photos of Davis, wearing his blue-trimmed prison uniform with his mother, sister and other family members, Associated Press reports. Speakers at the service included Davis’s nephew, Antone' De'Juan Davis-Correia and the Rev. Raphael Warnock of Atlanta, who served as a spiritual adviser to Davis on death row. Davis's nephew told local NBC affiliate WSAV-TV that the family is gratified by the outpouring of support.
"It says to me that a lot of people support us and believe that my uncle Troy was innocent," he said.
The 17-year-old nephew says the family refuses to be bitter toward the state and will continue to fight to abolish the death penalty.
Davis, 42, was executed on Sept. 21 for the 1989 slaying of off-duty police officer Mark MacPhail. The conviction ignited much controversy over whether Davis actually committed the crime, due to the lack of DNA evidence, fingerprints and absence of the murder weapon. The fact that all but two of the original non-police witnesses later recanted or contradicted their statements linking Davis to the murder futher increased suspicions among his advocates. Despite cries from supporters, noted politicians and human rights organizations, courts upheld Davis’s death sentence.
Upon his final moments in the death chamber, Davis maintained his innocence, asking the MacPhail family,"Look deeper into this case so that you really can finally see the truth," he said.
(Photo: Stephen Morton/AP)