9/15: Should Troy Davis be executed?

Moderated by Rick Badie

Troy Davis, convicted of killing a Savannah cop, faces execution in six days. His death sentence has been halted three times. Prominent leaders — from Nobel Prize laureates Desmond Tutu and Jimmy Carter to Congressmen John Lewis and Hank Johnson — have rallied to his defense. Some say justice in this case has been denied; others say it’s being served. Today, we present two views.

William S. Sessions, former director of the FBI, a former federal judge and federal prosecutor, argues that he should not because questions about his guilt continue to plague his conviction.

But Spencer Lawton, former district attorney for Georgia’s Eastern Judicial Circuit, prosecuted the Davis case in 1991, has written that Davis advocates’ claims on evidence, recanted testimony are not true.

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49 comments Add your comment


September 15th, 2011
6:04 pm

Since 1973, over 130 people have been released from death rows throughout the country due to evidence of their wrongful convictions. In 2003 alone, 10 wrongfully convicted defendants were released from death row.
Over 100 were overturned based upon post-conviction evidence. According to their study of the first 70 cases reversed:
Over 30 of them involved prosecutorial misconduct.
Over 30 of them involved police misconduct which led to wrongful convictions.
Approximately 15 of them involved false witness testimony.
34% of the police misconduct cases involved suppression of exculpatory evidence. 11% involved evidence fabrication.
37% of the prosecutorial misconduct cases involved suppression of exculpatroy evidence. 25% involved knowing use of false testimony.


September 15th, 2011
6:01 pm

@ LLM–I don’t think you have read the case at all. There were a pair of shorts found at his mother’s residence the morning after the crime. The shorts had DNA on them but a Judge ruled that Davis’ mother did not give voluntary consent to search the residence. That is some BS, she just changed her story and said what the lawyers probably told her to say during the Jackson Denno hearing. He also shot Michael Cooper at a party prior to killing Ofc. Macphail. Cooper went to his probation officer, told him about the shooting and asked to be arrested because he feared Davis was going to kill him too. The ones that are changing their stories are the hoodrats and the jail house informants, not the witnesses that did not know Davis and were independant. Get your facts straight!


September 15th, 2011
5:54 pm

“I swear to tell the truth,the whole truth,so help me God”.If you are one of the ones who recanted their testimony since the trial of Troy Davis took place then you have noone but yourself to blame for his planned execution.What part of that sworn in process did you not understand? Admitting you lied should be justification for prison time.Your actions have caused a death, way to go.


September 15th, 2011
5:38 pm

Even the original blog comments here color the story in Troy Davis’ favor. What in fact happened was that Bob Barr, William Sessions, and other asked and received a SCOTUS order that an independent judicial inquiry be conducted into the matter of Mr. Davis’ proclaimed innocence. The District Court Judge listened for two days as witnesses called by Mr. Davis’ own defense attorneys spun their story. In the end, the Judge decided the innocence claims were based on, in his words, “smoke and mirrors.”

Mr. Davis, as is the case with long-term prisoners, has become a convincing con man. The con will be over next Wednesday. Maybe….just maybe….he will have the guts to man up and accept responsibility for his actions before he meets his God. But I wouldn’t count on it.

Michael Marr

September 15th, 2011
4:57 pm

Wally’s right. Just ask who is for the death penalty and leave it at that. Pro death people want the death penalty regardless of innocence once the jury has spoken. Two parallel and competing ideas in criminal law are “It ain’t over,” and “It is what it is.”


September 15th, 2011
3:16 pm

Regardless if he is killed or not, it makes me sick whenever they take it to the extreme whenever a cop is killed in the line of duty. Let a cop kill an innocent person, and that is ok, but kill a cop? Death Penalty. Its just not fair.


September 15th, 2011
3:06 pm


September 15th, 2011
2:44 pm

Beating a homeless person is enough to give him the death penalty.


September 15th, 2011
2:20 pm

“9/15: Should Troy Davis be executed?”

Yes. He is a convicted murderer.


September 15th, 2011
12:32 pm

Great to see all of the experts on here telling us why he should not be executed. However, the jury that heard all the facts and the courts that heard all of the appeals think differently. Gee…I wonder why.