Clemency hearing set for Davis

ATLANTA – Attorneys for a man sentenced to die Wednesday for killing an off-duty Savannah police officer more than two decades ago will meet with the State Board of Pardons and Paroles on Monday morning.

Troy Anthony Davis, 41, faces a Sept. 21 execution at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson.

Davis was sentenced to death for the August 1989 shooting death of off-duty Savannah police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail. However, his execution has been postponed several times pending appeals, and his supporters have organized countless vigils and marches, contending that he has been wrongly convicted. They point to a number of prosecution witnesses who have recanted their testimony since the original 1991 trial, according to published reports.

The board has the power to commute a sentence to life or life without parole or it could take no action.

Arguments over the testimony that led to Davis’ conviction and death sentence prompted the U.S. Supreme Court in August 2009 to order a federal court judge to “make findings of fact as to whether evidence that could not have been obtained at the time of trial clearly establishes (Davis’) innocence.” A federal judge in August 2010 ruled Davis “is not innocent.”

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