How was Troy Davis

Execution in the USA: Troy Davis is dead

In 1991 Davis was sentenced to death for the shooting of a 27-year-old white police officer and family man. Mark MacPhail was shot dead in 1989 in Savannah, Georgia. Neither the murder weapon nor DNA traces or fingerprints were found that indicated the African American as the perpetrator. Davis' case was considered one of the most controversial legal cases in the United States. Seven out of nine witnesses who named him as a perpetrator withdrew their testimony. Some said they were forced to testify by police officers. The execution, which took place on Wednesday evening (local time), was criticized internationally. The convict's lawyers declared to the last that their client was innocent.

According to eyewitnesses, Davis also protested his innocence shortly before his death. The policeman's murder "wasn't my fault, I didn't have a gun," he said, according to a journalist. "To those who want to take my life, may God bless you." Troy Davis died on Wednesday evening (Thursday, 5:08 am CEST).

The Supreme Court rejected motion to stop the execution

Davis' attorney Brian Kammer had been trying to prevent the execution until the last time, when he wrote to the courts that there was new evidence to exonerate his client. On Wednesday, Davis's defense attorney first turned to the Georgia judiciary to obtain a freeze on the execution, citing new evidence to exonerate her client. After the courts dismissed the motion, defense attorneys called the Supreme Court in Washington less than an hour and a half before the scheduled execution at 7 p.m. local time. The prison awaited the decision of the US Supreme Court. But the nine judges also rejected the application at around 10.30 p.m.

Hundreds of supporters were waiting in front of the Georgia prison. They protested with signs and choirs, repeatedly shouting, "The death penalty? Hell no!" and "Free Troy Davis," reported the US television station CNN. A large contingent of police officers in riot gear watched the situation. Around 100 people had previously demonstrated for Davis in front of the White House in Washington. After hopes the Supreme Court would stop the execution, the crowd fell silent after the judges' decision. Davis's relatives huddled together and wept. "This is an atrocity. Nobody can execute a person without solid evidence, there are only eyewitnesses," said human rights activist Al Sharpton.

The Pope also stood up for the condemned

Davis had the support not only of numerous African Americans, who saw him as the typical case of an unjustly accused black, but also of well-known personalities. Former US President Jimmy Carter was just as committed to his fate as Pope Benedict XVI. and US actress Susan Sarandon. France regretted the execution and reiterated its rejection of the death penalty, as the Foreign Ministry announced in Paris on Thursday.

The mother of the killed policeman, Anneliese MacPhail, criticized the delay in the execution on CNN. She was "completely devastated," and Davis' guilt was in no doubt.

The execution had been postponed three times

Davis's execution had already been postponed three times. In August 2009, the Supreme Court ordered a federal court to reopen the case. Although seven of the nine witnesses withdrew their testimony, the court upheld the death sentence in August 2010. In March 2011, Davis failed with a final appeal to the Supreme Court. On Tuesday, the Georgia Parole Board denied a motion to commute the death penalty.

US President Barack Obama declined to interfere in the case on Wednesday, his spokesman said. It is not up to the President to interfere in such a special case, it is a matter for the state. afp