Georgia Parole Board Denies Clemency for Troy Davis


Seven recanting witnesses, a Pope, a former FBI Director, and an ex-US president couldn’t persuade the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles that enough doubt had accumulated about Troy Davis’ culpability in the 1989 murder of Georgia police officer Mark MacPhail to call off his execution. For the fourth time in the past four years, Davis has been given an execution date—Wednesday at 7 p.m., according to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.

The Davis case has been one of several recent death penalty cases in which exculpatory evidence that has emerged post-conviction has highlighted significant flaws in the criminal justice system, particularly when it comes to eyewitness testimony, which according to the Innocence Project, “has played a role in 75 percent of convictions overturned by DNA testing.”

Doubts about Davis’ guilt however, aren’t exactly unanimous. They are not, for example, shared by the family of the slain police officer whom Davis was convicted of killing.

“He’s guilty,” MacPhail’s widow, Joan MacPhail-Harris, said. “We need to go ahead and execute him.”

For all the questions raised about the evidence and lack thereof that led to Davis’ original conviction, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles agreed.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate