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Troy Davis Execution: Reaction From Around The Web

Tracy Bloom |
September 21, 2011 | 2:09 p.m. PDT

Deputy Executive Editor

Barring a last-minute stay, Troy Davis will be executed by lethal injection Wednesday at 7 p.m. eastern time. Davis was convicted of killing a police officer in Georgia more than 20 years ago. On Tuesday, he was denied clemency, despite the fact that some of eyewitnesses in the case have recanted their testimony since his conviction, and also because no physical evidence or the murder weapon were found. There have also been reports of police misconduct in the case.

Davis' bid for clemency has garnered much attention and support recently, with the movement to stop his execution being supported by high-profile public figures, including former President Jimmy Carter, Pope Benedict XVI and former FBI director William Sessions.

This particular case has also put the debate over the death penalty front and center, with numerous media outlets from around the country decrying the decision to execute Davis.

Here's a round up of some of that reaction from around the Internet.

From Dave Zirin of The Nation:

It’s with rage that I report that the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles on Tuesday denied clemency for Troy Anthony Davis. The 42-year-old Davis is now due to be executed TODAY, Wednesday September 21, at 7 pm. For those unfamiliar with the case, let’s be clear: Davis’s execution is little more than a legal lynching.

From The New York Times:

The Georgia pardon and parole board’s refusal to grant him clemency is appalling in light of developments after his conviction: reports about police misconduct, the recantation of testimony by a string of eyewitnesses and reports from other witnesses that another person had confessed to the crime.

This case has attracted worldwide attention, but it is, in essence, no different from other capital cases. Across the country, the legal process for the death penalty has shown itself to be discriminatory, unjust and incapable of being fixed. 

From former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr (R-Georgia), CNN:

I support the death penalty, and have for a long time. And I am not making a judgment as to whether Davis is guilty or innocent. But surely the citizens of Savannah and the state of Georgia want justice served on behalf of MacPhail, the police officer.

Imposing a death sentence on the skimpiest of evidence does not serve the interest of justice. The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles did not honor the standards of justice on which all Americans depend by granting clemency. In doing so, it will allow a man to be executed when we cannot be assured of his guilt.

From former FBI Director William Sessions, The Atlanta Journal-Constituion:

However, when it comes to the sentence of death, there should be no room for doubt. I believe there is no more serious crime than the murder of a law enforcement officer who was putting his or her life on the line to protect innocent bystanders. However, justice is not done for Officer Mark Allen MacPhail Sr. if the wrong man is punished.

From Russell Simmons, The Huffington Post:

If you can't prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt then you CAN'T kill this man. This case has the world's attention. Is our bloodlust so great that we have to ignore all statements of doubt by those who have looked long and hard at the case and apply the cruelest punishment of all -- death -- which can never be remedied?

From The Los Angeles Times:

We have no idea whether or not Davis is innocent; he is the only person who knows for sure whether he gunned down 27-year-old police officer and former Army Ranger Mark MacPhail in a Burger King parking lot in Savannah in 1989. But there have been so many doubts raised since his conviction that it's impossible to state with any certainty that he's guilty, either. This is why his sentence should have been commuted to life without parole, and it's why the death penalty should be abolished. Once the ultimate sanction has been enforced, it's impossible to take it back when further evidence of innocence emerges.



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