United States

Sep 22, 2011

Troy Davis executed in Georgia

Crikey live blog: Despite a last minute delay by the US Supreme Court this morning, the execution of Troy Davis, who his supporters argue was wrongly convicted of murder, went ahead this afternoon.

Amber Jamieson — Freelance journalist in New York

Amber Jamieson

Freelance journalist in New York

Troy Davis was due to be executed this morning in Savannah, Georgia for the alleged killing of an off-duty police officer in 1989. But evidence, witnesses and appeals all indicate that Davis is innocent of the crime he has been convicted for. Throughout the morning, Crikey has been liveblogging the situation, where a last-minute decision by the US Supreme Court saw a delay in execution, just minutes before Davis was too be killed by lethal injection. After several hours of examining the appeal, the Supreme Court refused to block the execution ... 1.25pm update Media representatives who witnessed the execution have just made public statements, explaining that it was a sombre event, but Troy Davis remained defiant until the very end and maintained his innocence. One journalist explained that Davis spoke to the family of the victim and said despite the situation, he was not the one who killed Mark Macphail. Davis said he was not personally responsible for what happened that night, that he did not have a gun but that he was sorry for their loss "I did not personally kill your son, father and brother. I am innocent," said Davis. Just before he was killed by officials, he turned to them and said: "For those who are about to take my life, may god have mercy on your souls, may god bless your souls". 1.15pm update Prison officials in Georgia have just announced that Troy Davis has been executed. His official time of death was 11.08pm ET. 1.00pm update The execution of Troy Davis has apparently begun. 12.45pm update The execution is proceeding, with a lethal injection due to be given to Davis within the next half hour. Latest news indicates that there were no dissents within the Supreme Court Justices in their decision to refuse to block the execution. Hala Gorani from the CNN tweeted: "Georgia Dept of Corrections tells CNN #troydavis execution set to begin at 1105pm or 1110pm EST." A statement will come from the prison officials once the execution has happened. All death certificates of people killed by capital punishment lists the cause of death as "homicide". "We're calling on everyone to stay calm," said Benjamin Jealous, the head of civil rights organisation NAACP. For hours police presence has been increasing around the prison in Georgia where protesters have been awaiting news. "We are drained here. People are crying quietly. This is an atrocity," tweeted professor and historian Jelani Cobb from outside the prison. 12.20pm update The Supreme Court has just refused to stay the execution of Troy Davis, says Democracy Now. This has been confirmed by Associated Press. This means he is still to be executed. According to Kim Severson of The New York Times, the execution is expected to go ahead tonight. She tweeted a photo of family and supporters shortly after they received the news:

12.15pm Kim Severson from The New York Times latest tweet explains the current difficulty for people at the prison:
"Wish I had news to report. TV reporters nodding off. #TroyDavis family and the handful of MacPhail supporters looking so strained."
Many of Davis' supporters appear to have left the protest outside the prison where he's being held:
"The number of Davis supporters outside the prison has dwindled from hundreds to about 50, who appear to be outnumbered by armed security in riot gear."
12.10pm update The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (a news publication from Georgia) recently tweeted:
"AP alert: Supreme Court has not yet ruled on request for stay of execution for #TroyDavis. No indication when ruling is expected."
Journalist Amy Goodman from Democracy Now, who seems to be one of the only broadcast journalists continuously covering the case today, is doing a stellar job of continuing to broadcast although her show was supposed to finish hours ago. Her hands are full of ripped up pieces of paper and her mobile phone battery is flat, but she continues to do interviews with members of Troy Davis' family, friends and supporters. Many are now getting frustrated with the wait. Kim Severson from The New York Times tweets: "Protestors quiet. Police quiet. #TroyDavis family quiet. Heat, wait and emotional exhaustion taking its toll." Big Boi, the rapper from OutKast who is a high profile protestor outside the prison, recently tweeted:
"I don't see how they wore hard bottoms all day in the civil rights movement, I got on Nike ACG boots and my feet are killin me"
Severson's article on the planned execution at the NY Times has recently been updated and has an interesting look at what's been happening tonight:
For Mr. Davis’s family, who were gathered on the lawn near the entrance of the prison, about an hour’s drive south of Atlanta, the almost unbearably tense moments of prayers and tears that came as the clock moved to the execution hour turned to screams of joy when word came that the Supreme Court was reviewing the petition. No one knew what it meant, however. And another round of waiting began for more news from the Supreme Court. "This delay, however temporary, is a miracle itself," said Benjamin T. Jealous, the N.A.A.C.P. president. Family members and officials from Amnesty International and the N.A.A.C.P. stood anxiously checking their cellphones for updates.
11.10am update As we wait to hear whether the US Supreme Court has decided to grant a stay of execution in the Troy Davis case, Andrew Cohen, a legal journalist from CBS Radio, tweeted:
"If Scotus [Supreme Court of the United States] stays #TroyDavis execution tonight, it would be third in less than one week, virtually unparalleled in history of death penalty."
To understand how many police cars have recently arrived outside the prison facility in Georgia, check out this video posted by rapper Big Boi from Outkast: Just to clarify what we know:
  • Troy Davis was due to be executed at 7pm Eastern Time (9am Melbourne time) after being convicted of the murder of an off duty policer officer in 1989. But evidence, witnesses and appeals all indicate that Davis is innocent.
  • After having the Georgia parole board and the Georgia Supreme Court dismiss Davis' appeals against his death row execution earlier this week, a last minute decision by the US Supreme Court saw a delay in execution, with a reprieve given of between one and seven days. This is not an official stay of execution, but instead gives the Supreme Court a chance to review the case. This came just minutes before Davis was due to be killed.
  • The Supreme Court was supposed to announce its decision at 8.30pm ET (10.30am AEST) but so far no announcement has been made.
  • This is the fourth time that Davis has faced his execution, with a number of appeals and Supreme Court decisions over the years.
  • 150 friends, family and supporters are protesting in a special area just outside the Georgia diagnostic and classification prison in Jackson, Georgia, the maximum number allowed by authorities. Hundreds more supporters are across the road of the prison.
  • Police cars and helicopters have swarmed outside the prison, with lines of riot police set up and waiting. Supporters of Troy Davis have been peaceful, with a candlelight vigil and regular group prayers.
  • There are currently 108 people on death row in Georgia.
11.00am update Ben Jealous, head of the NAACP, gathered the supporters of Troy Davis around him outside the Georgia prison to pray as they await more news. People are tweeting photos of the swarms of police cars, which continue to arrive, with lines of what looks like riot police set up. Worrying and confusing since the US Supreme Court hasn't yet.

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5 comments

5 thoughts on “Troy Davis executed in Georgia

  1. Zarathrusta

    Is anyone surprised that this is happening in the USA?

    Obahma is a gutless disappointment and his presidency is on the rocks because of his general gutlessness.

  2. EKDV

    @Zarathrusta

    No, no-one is surprised this is happening this is happening in the USA. But given that Troy Davis was convicted and sentenced in 1991 makes blaming Obama for this a bit of a non-sequiteur.

  3. That Chatfield Fellow

    Who’s “Obahma”?

  4. Stevo the Working Twistie

    Barbaric, medieval, inhuman. American.

  5. zut alors

    I’m just trying to recall what that Commandment says about killing…

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