Beyond a Reasonable Shadow, Justice Gone Awry Series #2

GEORGIA CODE
TITLE 16.  CRIMES AND OFFENSES
CHAPTER 5.  CRIMES AGAINST THE PERSON
ARTICLE 1.  HOMICIDE

O.C.G.A. § 16-5-1  (2007)

§ 16-5-1.  Murder; felony murder

(a) A person commits the offense of murder when he unlawfully and with malice aforethought, either express or implied, causes the death of another human being.

(b) Express malice is that deliberate intention unlawfully to take the life of another human being which is manifested by external circumstances capable of proof. Malice shall be implied where no considerable provocation appears and where all the circumstances of the killing show an abandoned and malignant heart.

(c) A person also commits the offense of murder when, in the commission of a felony, he causes the death of another human being irrespective of malice.

(d) A person convicted of the offense of murder shall be punished by death or by imprisonment for life.

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Wikipedia: Troy Anthony Davis (October 9, 1968 – September 21, 2011) was an American citizen convicted of the August 19, 1989, murder of police officer Mark MacPhail in Savannah, Georgia, United States. MacPhail was working as a security guard at a Burger King restaurant when he intervened to defend a man being assaulted in a nearby parking lot. During Davis’ 1991 trial, witnesses testified they had seen Davis shoot MacPhail, and two others testified that Davis confessed to them. Although the murder weapon was not recovered, ballistic evidence presented at trial tied bullets recovered at or near the scene to those at another shooting in which Davis was also charged. Davis was convicted of murder and various lesser charges, including the earlier shooting, and was sentenced to death in August 1991.

Seven of nine eyewitnesses signed affidavits changing or recanting all or part of their testimony. The limited ability to appeal his conviction, due in part to the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, brought his plight to international attention.  Prosecutors argued that it was too late to present the recantations as evidence. Davis maintained his innocence. Various appeals in state and federal courts followed his conviction. Witnesses stated they had felt pressure by police to implicate Davis. Witnesses also implicated another witness, Sylvester “Redd” Coles, in the crime. The appeals were denied with state and federal courts declaring that Davis had not provided a “substantive claim” of innocence and that the recantations were unpersuasive. In July 2007, September 2008, and October 2008, execution dates were scheduled, but each execution was stayed shortly before it was to take place.

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Questions to Ask Yourself:

Per State of Georgia penal code:

  1. Did Troy Davis, exhibiting express malice, “unlawfully take the life of another human being manifested by external circumstances capable of proof ?”
  2. Where is the proof?

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Georgia, September 21, 2011 (ABC): Troy Davis was executed this evening for the murder of an off-duty policeman after the U.S. Supreme Court denied a last-minute stay of execution amid widespread public doubts about his guilt.

Davis, 42, died at 11:08 p.m. ET, according to a Georgia Department of Corrections official. His death by lethal injection came after an approximately four-hour delay for legal review.

“Justice has been served for Officer Mark MacPhail and his family,” state Attorney General Sam Olens said in a statement.

RIP TROY

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