CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

SCOTUS Saves Death Row Inmates' Appeal for Another Day

Scotus From  The United States Supreme Court says it needs more time to look at an appeal from Georgia death row inmate Troy Anthony Davis. Davis, 39, was convicted of the 1989 shooting death of off-duty officer Mark Allen McPhail, 27, in Savannah, Georgia.

In September, just 2 hours before his scheduled execution by way of lethal injection the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay of execution.

Mr. Davis received thousands of calls and letters on his behalf including Pope Benedict XVI (wrote a letter to Georgia Governor Sonny Purdue), Nobel Peace Prize recipients Desmond Tutu and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter; actor Mike Farrell, recording artists the Indigo Girls, the Hip Hop Summit Action Network (HHSAN) and Broadway star Don Quixote.

Davis wants the high court to order a judge to hear from the witnesses who recanted their testimony and others who say another man confessed to the crime.

In past appeal attempts, prosecutors have styled the statements of recanting witnesses as suspect. The courts--including the Georgia State Supreme Court--as well as the Georgia State Pardons and Parole Board refused requests for a new trial or clemency.

Pres. Carter at the very least sought a commuted sentence and life in prison.

According to published reports, the high court issued orders Monday addressing the appeals of numerous cases, but none as to whether it will accept or reject Davis’ appeal. Instead, the court, in a listing on its docket, said it will meet in a private conference on Friday to consider Davis’ appeal.

According to analysts it is not out of character for a case such as Davis' to be heard several weeks from now. Rest of Article. . . [Bobbi Madonna]

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