Good News

Troy Davis, who still sits on Georgia’s death row after being convicted of killing a police officer, despite seven of the nine witnesses at his trial having recanted their testimony, has been given a 90-day stay of execution.

The state Board of Pardons and Paroles on Monday granted a stay of execution of up to 90 days to Troy Davis, 38, who was convicted of killing a Savannah police officer in 1989.

He had faced a Tuesday execution date before the board’s decision, which came after less than an hour of deliberation. The stay means the execution will be on hold while the board weighs the evidence presented as part of Davis’ request for clemency. The board must rule by Oct. 14.

Now, as Jeff said earlier, “I don’t know whether Troy Davis is guilty or innocent, and frankly, that shouldn’t be for me to decide, or you. But he shouldn’t be put to death with this much potentially exculpatory evidence swirling around.” Indeed. It’s not good news because I’m convinced of anything; it’s good news because it means we’re giving justice a better chance than it had before.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Good News

  1. Jovan1984

    That’s great to hear, Melissa! Now they should immediately test his DNA to see if it does or does not match evidence at the crime scene.

  2. I don’t know if he’s guilty or innocent either, but I’ll gladly take this much of a stand–we ought not be executing people in this country when 7 of 9 eyewitnesses have recanted their testimony in some form or another, and when there is no forensic evidence whatsoever. The lack of forensic evidence alone should have been enough to keep any jury worth a damn from imposing the death penalty.

  3. That’s very good news, although — pardon me for being cynical, but let’s set a reminder for mid-October. It seems to me that the pardons board may be looking to stop the blast faxes, in hopes that 90 days is enough for everyone to forget about Troy Davis.

  4. This may be a good place to mention the Crime Lab Project, the brainchild of mystery writer Jan Burke. Most state crime labs are shamefully underfunded and don’t have the personnel or equipment they need to process evidence properly and in a timely manner, and the Crime Lab Project seeks to raise awareness and advocate for more resources. Check it out if you’re interested.

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