The Georgia state Board of Pardons and Paroles has declined to commute the death sentence for Troy Anthony Davis, convicted of killing off-duty Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail in 1989.
The AJC reports that the board released its decision just after 8 a.m., after spending an entire day hearing from Davis’ supporters and then prosecutors and MacPhail’s relatives.
“The board members have not taken their responsibility lightly and certainly understand the emotions attached to a death penalty case,” the board said in a statement. The five board members have “considered the totality of the information presented in this case and thoroughly deliberated on it, after which the decision was to deny clemency.”
The Davis family said through a spokeswoman they were not ready to comment on the decision but may hold a news conference later. They are still planning to visit Davis at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison near Jackson, the location of the state’s death row and execution chamber.
Davis’ lawyers said they are considering launching yet another last-ditch round of appeals.
Amnesty International and the NAACP, two groups that have joined protests in highlighting inconsistencies in the case (like witnesses backing off of testimonies), condemned the board’s decision to deny clemency.
Davis, 42, is scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
While some states give the governor the authority to commute a sentence of someone about to be executed that is not the case in Georgia; that power lies with the parole board.
Calls for Davis to be spared execution have been made by numerous dignitaries, including former President Jimmy Carter, Pope Benedict XVI, former FBI Director William Sessions, former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Norman Fletcher and Larry Thompson, the former deputy U.S. attorney general.
At one point the U.S. Supreme Court ordered a hearing to give Davis the chance to establish he was an innocent man, but a Savannah judge ultimately ruled that Davis’ new evidence was largely smoke and mirrors.
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