Source: AP / CBS News
ATLANTA – Supporters of Troy Davis were making a last-ditch effort Monday to stop his execution for the 1989 murder of an off-duty Savannah police officer, asking the Georgia pardons board to grant clemency to the high-profile death-row inmate now that his legal appeals are exhausted.
The five-member Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles met at 9 a.m. Monday to consider arguments surrounding Davis, who claims he is innocent of the killing of Mark MacPhail. He’s set to be put to death by injection Wednesday, the fourth time in four years the state has tried to execute the 42-year-old man.
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Dozens of Davis’ supporters rallied outside the government building housing the pardons board on Monday. They hoisted a massive “Save Troy Davis” sign and formed a makeshift drum line at one entrance to the building. At another entrance, other supporters were holding a somber prayer vigil on his behalf.
The pardons board, which has the power to commute death sentences but rarely does so, decided in 2007 to delay his execution for 90 days to grant the courts more time to review the case. A year later, it denied Davis clemency and allowed his execution to go forward. Since then, though, three new members have been appointed to the panel.
“We are hopeful this tremendous outpouring of support will demonstrate there’s such a huge concern about this case, and that this message will resonate with them,” said Laura Moye of Amnesty International, who delivered thousands of petitions in support of Davis to the board last week. “The very reputation and faith that this public has in its justice system is on the line.”
Among those who support Davis’ clemency request are former President Carter and Pope Benedict XVI.
The board, which meets in a closed-door session, will first hear hours of testimony from Davis’ legal team and its witnesses, although Davis himself is not scheduled to appear. The panel will then hear from prosecutors, MacPhail’s family and their witnesses.
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