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Troy Davis Executed by Georgia


Troy Davis was executed tonight by the state of Georgia for his role 22 years ago in the murder of a police officer, Mark MacPhail, while MacPhail was coming to the aid of a homeless man.

Georgia held off on the execution for several hours while the Supreme Court considered a last-minute appeal.  It was not legally required to do so; unlike its action in several other recent cases, the Court did not enter a stay.  Given that, Georgia could have executed Davis on schedule, but declined.

The case was controversial because Davis maintained his innocence and seven of the nine eyewitnesses recanted their testimony years after the fact [Update:  It was actually fewer than that, as Kent correctly notes in the next blog entry].  The case was also unusual because the Supreme Court ordered a hearing to assess Davis's claim that insufficient relible evidence supported his conviction.  The United States District Judge who convened the hearing refused relief in a lengthy opinion, and the Supreme Court declined to issue a writ of certiorari to review his order.  There were no dissents.

There were also no dissents from tonight's order denying a stay of execution.

I take satisfaction that justice has been done.  But satisfaction is not happiness. There's no happiness to be found in this case, not one little bit. 

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