In the end countless appeals, witness recants, public outrage and protests were not enough to save Troy Davis’ life, and the convicted death-row inmate was executed by lethal injection at 11:08 p.m. Wednesday night at a state prison in Jackson, Georgia.
Troy Davis’ fight was a long one. He was convicted 1991 and sentenced to death for the 1989 murder of an off-duty Savannah police officer, and that was just the beginning of a two-decade long fight to clear his name and save his life.
Since his conviction several of the state’s witnesses have changed their testimony, his execution was delayed four times, and numerous appeals were rejected, including one made before tonight’s execution to the U.S. Supreme Court.
A last-ditch attempt to save his life failed as Georgia’s Board of Pardons and Parole denied him clemency two days before his execution. Another last minute appeal made to Georgia’s Supreme Court hours before his execution was also denied, along with Davis’ request for a polygraph test.
For the better part of the day, hundreds of protestors, including Davis’ family, religious leaders and even celebrity supporters, were assembled outside the prison in Jackson, Ga., waiting for the execution to begin. Around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday night the protesters were given a glimpse of hope, as it was announced that the execution would be delayed while the state awaited word on a last minute appeal made to the U.S. Supreme Court. During the next few hours protesters remained vigilant, while roughly a hundred armed officers in full riot gear kept watch outside the prison. Shortly after 10 p.m. the Supreme Court denied the stay and Davis was executed.
The case, which gained worldwide attention, appeared to put the U.S. judicial system and the death penalty on trial, as religious leaders, politicians, celebrities and countless advocacy groups rallied around Davis and denounced the execution.
Although the execution has taken place, this story is far from over. It’s sure to stay on the minds of those on both sides of the death penalty issue.
Let us know what you think about the execution of Troy Davis in the comment section.