Troy Davis To Have Additional Clemency Hearing

Georgia death row inmate Troy Davis will have a third clemency hearing before the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles on September 19, two days before his scheduled execution.  The hearing will allow Davis to present witnesses the Board did not hear from in prior hearings as well as "renewed claims of innocence" regarding his conviction for killing Savannah police officer Mark Allen MacPhail in 1989.  Doubts about Davis' guilt were raised when some prosecution witnesses changed their stories after giving testimony against Davis, including accusations pointing to another suspect as the triggerman.  The U.S. Supreme Court granted Davis an evidentiary hearing on his new evidence before a federal court judge. After the hearing, District Court Judge William Moore said "the State's case may not be ironclad," but nevertheless concluded that Davis had not convincingly proved his innocence.  In 2007, the Pardons Board halted Davis's execution because of unresolved doubts about his guilt.  Ultimately, they denied clemency.  There are now 3 new members on the Pardons Board.

Prior to being granted the hearing in federal court, an amicus brief had been filed on behalf of Davis by former members of the judiciary and law enforcement officials, including former Georgia Congressman Bob Barr and the former director of the FBI William S. Sessions.  The case has also received international attention.

(B. Rankin, "Parole board to again hear Troy Anthony Davis case," Atlanta Journal-Constitution, September 8, 2011).  See Clemency and Innocence.