A 9:00 hearing on Monday morning, September 19, 2011, will determine the fate of Troy Davis. His execution by lethal injection is scheduled two days later on September 21 at 7:00 p.m. at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, GA. It is the fourth execution date so far in his case.
The Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles may be reached by phone at: : 404-656-5651. To reach the Public Affairs Office, call 404-657-9450, or fax 404-651-8502. For clemency information, email: Clemency_Information@pap.state.ga.us
The Tony Davis death penalty case has drawn steadily increasing worldwide attention for several years, not only enlisting the support of death penalty opponents but also mobilizing current and former judges, legal scholars and some law enforcement professionals who raise the issue of “reasonable doubt.” In a strongly worded editorial yesterday in the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, William B. Sessions, a former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations under Presidents Reagan, H.W. Bush and Clinton, wrote:
“Serious questions about Mr. Davis’ guilt, highlighted by witness recantations, allegations of police coercion, and a lack of relevant physical evidence, continue to plague his conviction.”
Among those calling for clemency are Pope Benedict XVI, former President Jimmy Carter and the leadership of the NAACP and Amnesty International.
In former prosecutor Sessions’ editorial, he cited the 2007 action of the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles when it issued a stay of execution for Davis. In that decision, Sessions pointed out, the board took the position that it would “not allow an execution to proceed in this State unless and until its members are convinced that there is no doubt as to the guilt of the accused.” Sessions continued:
“Because this case continues to be permeated by doubt, the Board of Pardons and Paroles’ stance continues to be the right one. In reality, there will always be cases, including capital cases, in which doubts about guilt cannot be erased to an acceptable level of certainty. The Davis case is one of these, and it is for cases like this that executive clemency exists.”
The Georgia Department of Corrections is the fifth largest prison system in the United States and is responsible for supervising nearly 60,000 state prisoners and over 150,000 probationers.