Death Penalty

Death-Row Inmate Troy Davis, Who Claims Actual Innocence, Loses Bid for Clemency

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Updated: Death-row inmate Troy Anthony Davis is set to be executed on Wednesday after the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole denied his bid for clemency.

Amnesty International released a statement criticizing the decision on Tuesday, CNN reports. “Allowing a man to be sent to death under an enormous cloud of doubt about his guilt is an outrageous affront to justice,” the statement said. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the New York Times also have stories.

Davis was convicted of the 1989 murder of a police officer in Savannah, Ga. Seven out of nine witnesses have since recanted their testimony. Ruling on Davis’ claim of actual innocence last year, U.S. District Judge William Moore said the new evidence submitted in the case “is largely smoke and mirrors.”

Davis’ supporters gave the parole board the names of more than 663,000 people seeking clemency for Davis, the Journal-Constitution says. Three jurors who voted to sentence Davis to death are among those asking that his life be spared.

The ABA had urged the the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles to grant Davis clemency. “The ABA has identified serious, long-standing concerns with the fair administration of Georgia’s death penalty,” ABA President Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III said in a statement. “Many of these problems were present at the time of the investigation and prosecution of Mr. Davis’ case, and persisted through every stage of appeal….Deciding not to execute Mr. Davis will serve justice by reaffirming that the justice system does not utilize the death penalty for anyone whose guilt is reasonably in question.”

Updated at 4:52 p.m. to include Robinson’s statement.

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