Wednesday, September 21, 2011

News Spotlight: Justice Questioning

It looks like it really is the end of the line for Troy Davis. After much doubt by many people that he murdered a cop, his last apparent chance to delay the case has been denied. I'm not usually one to get too wrapped up in opinions about innocence vs. guilt, but this one does tug at the conscience a bit. There are not just some factors to suggest he may be innocent, but too many factors. If he is innocent, may he rest in peace. And may the truth eventually come out so our justice system can have yet another example of why it needs to get its shit together.

From CBS News: "ATLANTA - A defense attorney says Georgia prison officials have blocked inmate Troy Davis from taking a polygraph test before his scheduled execution.

Attorney Stephen Marsh told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the Georgia Department of Corrections has denied his request to allow Davis to take a polygraph test. Davis is scheduled to die at 7 p.m. EDT Wednesday.

Davis has long claimed he is innocent of killing Mark MacPhail, an off-duty police officer working as a security guard in Savannah, Ga. But state and federal courts have repeatedly upheld his conviction.

Prosecutors and MacPhail's relatives say they have no doubt the right man is being punished.

Marsh had said he hoped the polygraph test would convince the state pardons board to reconsider a decision against clemency.

On Wednesday, supporters planned vigils outside Georgia's death row prison in Jackson and protests at U.S. embassies in Europe. Davis' attorneys planned another late appeal, this one aimed at blocking the execution by convincing a judge that some of the original evidence was questionable.

After winning three delays since 2007, Davis lost his most realistic chance at last-minute clemency this week when the state pardons board denied his request.

Some witnesses who fingered him at trial as the shooter later recanted, and others who did not testify came forward to say another man did it. But a federal judge dismissed those changed and new accounts as "largely smoke and mirrors" after a hearing Davis was granted last year to argue for a new trial, which he did not win.

Davis didn't want a last meal. He planned to spend his final hours meeting with friends, family and supporters. According to an advocate who met with him late Tuesday, he was upbeat, prayerful and expected last-minute wrangling by attorneys."

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