Ga. executes Davis for 1989 shooting

ATLANTA – The state of Georgia late Wednesday executed convicted cop killer Troy Anthony Davis. Davis was pronounced dead at 11:08 p.m., CNN reported.

It was the fourth time since his 1991 conviction that Georgia officials sought to execute Davis. His execution was postponed the previous three times pending appeals.

On Wednesday, Davis’ execution – originally scheduled for 7 p.m. – was delayed about four hours while state officials waited for word from the U.S. Supreme Court on whether it would intervene; after 10 p.m., the high court said it would not stay the execution.

Earlier in the day, the Georgia Supreme Court has unanimously denied a stay of execution. A Butts County judge also declined to intervene in the case.

Davis, 42, was sentenced to die for the August 1989 shooting death of off-duty Savannah police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail. However, state officials put his execution on hold pending word from the Supreme Court.

Supporters of Davis have organized countless vigils and marches over the years, contending that he has been wrongly convicted. They point to a number of prosecution witnesses said to have recanted their testimony since the 1991 trial.

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.”

On Tuesday, the state Board of Pardons and Paroles declined clemency for Davis. On Wednesday, the board declined to reconsider its decision.

Prior to his execution, Davis declined a last meal and also turned down the opportunity to make a recorded last statement, according to a number of media accounts.

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