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Troy Davis is dead

10:19 PM, Sep 21, 2011   |    comments
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Video: Medical explanation of a lethal injection

Video: RAW VIDEO: Troy Davis supports gather at Ga. Capitol

Video: REPORTER'S NOTEBOOK: Witness to an execution

Video: Troy Davis asks high court to stop execution

Video: Former DA: Doubt, recantations 'manufactured' in Troy Davis case

  • A Troy Davis reporter cries upon hearing news that the Supreme Court of the United States rejected an 11th hour appeal.
  • Troy Davis
    

JACKSON, Ga. -- Troy Davis is dead.  He died from a lethal injection administered by the state of Georgia after being sentenced to death at 11:08 p.m. Wednesday night.

COMPLETE REPORT on Troy Davis' death can be found here.

***THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. PREVIOUS REPORTING FOLLOWS.***

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court has rejected an eleventh-hour appeal from Troy Davis to prevent Georgia authorities from executing him for the murder of an off-duty police officer.

The court did not comment on its order late Wednesday, four hours after receiving the last-ditch request.

The filing by Davis' lawyers came after state officials refused to grant Davis a reprieve in the face of calls for clemency from former President Jimmy Carter, Pope Benedict XVI and others.

The high court previously granted Davis a stay of execution in 2008 and ordered a court hearing the following year to give Davis a chance to establish his innocence. A federal judge said Davis failed to do so, and the justices refused to review that finding.

PHOTO GALLERY: Troy Davis' day of execution

Wednesday night, the state of Georgia was legally empowered to proceed with the Davis' execution.

That being said, Georgia Department of Corrections officials told 11Alive News that their procedures would not allow them to carry out an execution while an appeal was pending with the Supreme Court of the United States.

The last-ditch effort came after state officials refused to grant Davis a reprieve in the face of calls for clemency from former President Jimmy Carter, Pope Benedict XVI and others. Davis' execution by lethal injection was set for 7 p.m. EDT Wednesday.

The high court previously granted Davis a stay of execution in 2008 and ordered a court hearing the following year to give Davis a chance to establish his innocence. A federal judge said Davis failed to do so, and the justices refused to review that finding.

The Georgia Supreme Court has refused to halt the execution of Davis, leaving him nearly out of options with less than two hours until he's scheduled to die for the killing of a policeman.

Troy Davis did not eat the final meal offered to him Wednesday evening -- grilled cheeseburgers, oven browned potatoes, baked beans, coleslaw, cookies and grape beverage.

Davis also declined to make a final, recorded statement, less than two hours before his scheduled execution.

Corrections officials said a total of 25 people visited Davis at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Center in Jackson.  He had invited 28 people -- including family, friends, clergy and lawyers.  The names of the people who visited Davis Wednesday were not released.

A Georgia judge has refused to halt the execution of death row inmate Davis after a last-minute appeal by his attorneys.

Davis' attorney Brian Kammer said a Butts County Superior Court judge on Wednesday rejected an appeal by Davis.

Davis, the condemned inmate who convinced hundreds of thousands of people but no appellate courts of his innocence, waited to be executed Wednesday as his supporters held vigils outside Georgia's death row and as far away as London and Paris.

Davis' supporters tried desperate measures, urging prison workers to stay home and even posting a judge's phone number online, hoping people would press him to put a stop to the 7 p.m. lethal injection.

His offer to take a polygraph test was rejected. So was his request for the pardons board to give him one more hearing.

Georgia's attorney general urged a state court to reject a last-ditch appeal by inmate Troy Davis as the clock ticks down to his execution just hours away.

In a filing with Butts County Superior Court Wednesday, the state's chief prosecutor said Davis' lawyers are engaged in delaying tactics and are arguing the same evidence already rejected repeatedly by the courts.

The motion filed by Davis' legal team disputes ballistics testimony from a Georgia Bureau of Investigation expert at Davis' 1991 trial. It also challenged eyewitness testimony.

Davis was facing lethal injection at 7 p.m. for killing an off-duty Georgia policeman in Savannah. It's a crime he and others have insisted for years that he did not commit. Protests were planned from the state prison in Jackson to Paris and London.

His lawyers have few options left to try to save his life:

  1. Defense attorney Brian Kammer has asked a Butts County Superior Court judge to block the execution, arguing the ballistic testing that linked Davis to the shooting was flawed. The Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison, where Davis sits on death row, is located in Butts County, in the city of Jackson.

  2. Davis supporters presented more than 240,000 petition signatures to Chatham County District Attorney Larry Chisolm on Wednesday to ask him to intervene and request that Davis' death warrant be revoked. MacPhail was killed in Chatham County. On Tuesday, Chisolm said he was powerless to intervene because a Superior Court judge had signed the execution order.

Davis' supporters have also considered asking President Obama or the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene and stop the execution.

Legal experts call the last-ditch appeals long-shots. 

A request by Davis' lawyers for the Georgia Department of Corrections to allow Davis to submit to a polygraph examination in prison to try to prove his innocence has already been denied. Defense attorneys had wanted assurances that the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles would review the results.  

Another request by Davis' attorneys for the pardons board to reconsider their decision to deny clemency has also been denied.

In Georgia, the State Board of Pardons and Paroles has exclusive authority to grant clemency to death row inmates. By law, Governor Nathan Deal cannot grant a pardon.

TIMELINE: The Troy Davis Case

RELATED: Debating the fate of Troy Davis

MORE: Ex DA say doubt, recantations 'manufactured' in Troy Davis case

DOCUMENT: Butts County Motion for Stay of Execution

DOCUMENT: Butts Co. Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus

Officer Mark MacPhail's son, 22-year-old Mark MacPhail, Jr., plans to serve as a prosecution witness to the execution. Five members of the media will also watch as Davis is put to death by lethal injection.

"Death Watch"

Davis is now under what the Georgia Department of Corrections calls a "Death Watch" to make sure he doesn't do anything to harm himself.

He will have six hours to spend with his family members in a special visitation, and he'll have a chance to record a final statement.

Davis declined to request a special last meal and instead will be offered the institution's meal tray, consisting of grilled cheeseburgers, oven browned potatoes, baked beans, coleslaw, cookies and grape beverage. 

If executed, Davis will be the 29th inmate put to death by lethal injection. There have been 51 men executed in Georgia since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1973. There are presently 99 men and one woman on Georgia's death row.

Doubts persist

Davis' attorneys and supporters had pinned most of their hopes on his clemency hearing Monday, arguing that Davis shouldn't be put to death for a murder he didn't commit.

In the years since Davis' conviction, seven of nine prosecution witnesses linking Davis to Officer MacPhail's murder have either changed or recanted their testimony.

"There's doubt here," said Davis' sister Martina Correia. "You can't make mistakes. You have to be sure because you can't go backwards."

But a prosecutor who handled the case against Davis 20 years ago said he has no doubt.

"The appearance of doubt has been manufactured by the defense," Spencer Lawton, who is now retired, told 11Alive's Brenda Wood in a rare interview Tuesday night.

"In every case where the issue has been in court, we've won,"  Lawton said, calling the recantations "valueless as evidence."

Supporters speak out 

As the clock ticks closer to Davis' scheduled execution, his supporters have taken to the streets and social media to speak out.

#TroyDavis and #TooMuchDoubt were trending topics on Twitter Tuesday and Wednesday with high profile tweets from the likes of Amnesty International to Kim Kardashian.

Atlanta hip hop artist Big Boi of Outkast tweeted, "We don't need a trending topic, we need boots on the ground, meet me in Jackson Georgia 40 miles outside Atlanta!!! #Troydavis"

Georgia state senator Vincent Fort (D-Atlanta) called for a strike and sick-out by staff members at the prison in Jackson.

"I say to the prison staff: If you work on that day, you will enable the prison to carry out the execution of a possibly innocent man," Fort said in his statement. 

The Davis case even came up during Monday afternoon's White House Daily Briefing, when White House Press Secretary Jay Carney answered questions regarding the president's position on the death penalty in general and the Davis case in particular.

"The president has written that he believes the death penalty does little to deter crime but that some crimes merit the ultimate punishment," Carney said. "Some of you may also recall that when the president was in the Illinois State Senate, he worked across the aisle to find common ground. With regard to this specific case, I haven't talked to the president about that, and I would refer questions about it to the Department of Justice."

The president does not have the power to stop Davis' execution, but he could ask the Justice Department to take action.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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