Accused Atlanta Cop Killer’s Execution is Set

Published October 17, 2008

Posted Oct. 16, 2008 – The state has set a time and date to execute Troy Anthony Davis, even as his advocates continue to insist Georgia is about to execute an innocent man, reports The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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Davis’ case drew international attention after seven of nine key prosecution witnesses against him recanted their testimony. They claimed they had been pressured to say they saw Davis shoot off-duty police officer Mark Allen MacPhail in a Burger King parking lot.

On Wednesday,  the Department of Corrections said on Oct. 27, Davis will be put to death for killing MacPhail. This is Davis’ third execution date in little more than a year.

The State Board of Pardons and Paroles stopped the first one the day before Davis was to die by lethal injection on July 17, 2007. The U.S. Supreme Court stopped Davis’ second execution two hours before he was to die on Sept. 23 so the justices could decide if they would hear Davis’ case.  Tuesday, the high court declined to step into the contentious debate over whether Davis is the real killer.

MacPhail, a 27-year-old father of two, was working off duty Aug. 19, 1989, when he heard the cries of a homeless man being pistol whipped. MacPhail rushed to the parking lot to help. Davis turned from the homeless man and shot MacPhail before the officer could draw his gun, according to testimony. Witnesses testified that once the wounded MacPhail was on the ground, Davis shot him two or three times more. Davis’ case drew international attention after seven of nine key prosecution witnesses against him recanted their testimony. They claimed they had been pressured to say they saw Davis shoot MacPhail in a Burger King parking lot.

Pope Benedict XVI and former President Jimmy Carter were among those challenging the fairness of the execution. In a prepared statement Wednesday, Rama Yade, minister of state for foreign affairs and human rights for France, begged Georgia’s Board of Pardons and Paroles to step in, even though the board declined to stop Davis’ execution last month.

“The European Union’s many calls aimed at sensitizing the relevant authorities … and asking them not to proceed with [Davis’] execution have not been heeded,” Yade said. “I would like to reaffirm once again France’s opposition to capital punishment. Indeed, the death penalty undermines human dignity. Any judicial error in its application is irreversible and irreparable.”

Written by BET-Staff

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