The United States Supreme Court has granted Troy Davis’ request to postpone his execution in yet another attempt to clear his name and prove his innocence.
Davis is an inmate that was sentenced to death after the 1989 murder of a Savannah, GA police officer. Since his incarceration, Davis has gained international support behind his claims of innocence.
Justice John Paul Stevens ordered a federal judge to “receive testimony and make findings of fact as to whether evidence that could not have been obtained at trial clearly establishes petitioner’s innocence.”
Among the supporters of the motion were Justices Ruth Bader and Stephen Breyer. The newest member of the high court Sonia Sotomayor, however, did not participate in the petition. “Brother” Clarence Thomas did however and was one of two judges that dissented their reasons for not taking another look at the case and going ahead and killing Davis.
In the last year or so, Davis’ case has been quite turbulent, even being granted a stay of execution just two hours before he was to be put to death.
Despite the execution delay, Davis will continue to sit on death row, reports CNN.
Davis insists that he is innocent of the charges brought upon him in the murder of Officer Mark MacPhail. Witnesses claimed they saw Davis, then 19, and two other men harassing a homeless man in a Burger King parking lot when officer MacPhail arrived to the help the man. Witnesses identified Davis as the shooter claiming he shot MacPhail twice and fled on foot.
Since the 1991 conviction, however, seven of the nine witnesses have recanted their testimonies. In addition to the witnesses reneging, no physical evidence was ever presented to the trial jury or court.
In recent years and months, world leaders and celebrities, including former president Jimmy Carter and Harry Belafonte have extended their support and have asked that Davis be granted a new trial.
Hip-Hop artist Killer Mike has been vocal about the execution and has appeared at rallies for Davis. Killer Mike, whose father was a police officer stated,
“I don’t just have a fu*k the police mentality. It really is a question with me if true justice isn’t being served. If it’s really a question that a man could be innocent or not guilty of killing that police officer, I can’t stand there silent and see Black blood just bleed. I can’t allow myself to do that and that’s coming from the son of a police officer. So I sympathize with a family that lost a father, a brother and husband and with a police department that lost a officer. I sympathize but if there’s even a question that this man could be innocent, I don’t see how the State of Georgia or The Supreme Court of these United States can allow more Black blood to run. I can’t support that in no way, not state sponsored murder.”
Boyce Watkins also commented on the case and how it’s not fair to not consider all the evidence but still try to condemn a man to die.
“Well it certainly blows a hole in the idea of American justice if this man does not get some type of objective review of that situation. It’s completely non physical to even have all this evidence out here and to ignore it. Why do you stay with a decision when you have strong reason to believe that the decision is fraud? At the very least, they should go back and do the investigation to ensure that you’re executing the right man so I do think that if he is executed and nobody else does a thorough review of what happened, then justice was not served. And justice not being served does not mean that he’s innocent, justice not being served means that he did not have a fair hearing by the American public by the judicial system and again it’s also reflective of a broader problem in our system and we all know the statistics for Black men in terms of incarceration and execution.
We know that the prison system is modern day slavery. So as Black people I think we should all be offended by Troy Davis’s execution and also we must remember that there are many, many cases of individuals who are not as well known as Troy Davis who are also not having justice served. So the whole justice system really needs an overhaul and I don’t know how that’s going to get done but that needs to happen.”</blockquote>
Watch below as Killer Mike goes into detail about the Troy Davis case: