Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

18 August 2009

US Supreme Court Order gives hope to Troy Davis

US Supreme Court Order gives hope to Troy Davis

A US Supreme Court order mandating a new evidentiary hearing for death-row inmate Troy Anthony Davis, has been welcomed by Amnesty International.

In a 6-2 ruling, the nation's highest court decided that Davis should have another chance to prove his innocence before the state of Georgia puts him to death.

"We are grateful that the nation's highest court has seen the wisdom in granting a new evidentiary hearing to Troy Davis," said Laura Moye, director of Amnesty International USA's Death Penalty Abolition Campaign.

"For years Amnesty International has maintained that this man's compelling case of innocence needs to see the light of day. Finally it will. Given the lack of hard evidence tying Davis to Officer MacPhail's murder, it would be nothing short of unconscionable to put him to death as a means of conveniently tying up loose ends. Finally there is an opportunity for justice to truly be served.”

Under the Supreme Court's order, the District Judge presiding over the new hearing should "receive testimony and make findings of fact as to whether evidence that could have been obtained at the time of trial clearly establishes [Davis'] innocence."

Davis was convicted in 1991 of killing Savannah police officer Mark Allen MacPhail. Authorities failed to produce a murder weapon or physical evidence tying Davis to the crime.

Seven of the nine original state witnesses have recanted or changed their initial testimonies in sworn affidavits. One of the remaining witnesses is alleged to be the actual perpetrator.

Since the launch of its February 2007 report, Where Is the Justice for Me?, Amnesty International has campaigned intensively for a new evidentiary hearing or trial, as well as clemency for Davis, collecting hundreds of thousands of clemency petition signatures and letters from prominent individuals around the world.

Read More

USA: Supreme Court orders evidentiary hearing into Troy Davis's claim of innocence (Document, 17 August 2009)
USA: 'Unconscionable and unconstitutional’: Troy Davis facing fourth execution date in two years
(Report, 19 May 2009)

 

Issue

Death Penalty 
Trials And Legal Systems 

Country

USA 

Region

Americas 

@amnestyonline on twitter

News

11 July 2014

Refugees in Nairobi are appealing against a controversial ruling that would force thousands of Somalis from their homes to live in squalid overcrowded camps in north Kenya.

Read more »
19 June 2014

Chile’s commitment to decriminalize abortion in cases where the pregnancy was the result of rape, the woman’s life is in danger and when the foetus is not viable is a positive... Read more »

10 July 2014

The sentencing of five media workers in Myanmar each to 10 years’ imprisonment with hard labour for “disclosing state secrets” makes today a dark day for freedom of expression... Read more »

11 July 2014

Amnesty International has gathered graphic and compelling evidence of savage beatings and other torture meted out against activists, protesters and journalists in eastern... Read more »

14 July 2014

A new briefing sheds light on a growing pattern of sectarian killings and abductions by the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham since the group seized Mosul, Iraq’s second-... Read more »