September 16, 2011
Troy Davis in spotlight again as execution nears
(CBS/AP) ATLANTA - Hundreds of thousands of people are rallying to support Georgia death row inmate Troy Davis. They not only oppose capital punishment but they also believe the state could put an innocent man to death.
The case is packed with drama: the murder of an off-duty police officer; conflicting eyewitness testimony; last-minute court decisions sparing a condemned man's life and global dignitaries who say they fear an innocent man could die.
Davis' case has captured considerable attention because of the doubt raised over whether he killed Mark MacPhail in Savannah in 1989. The U.S. Supreme Court even granted Davis a hearing to prove his innocence. It was the first time it had done so for a death row inmate in at least 50 years but he couldn't convince a judge to grant him a new trial.
The officer's family believes there is no doubt that Davis killed MacPhail and prosecutors say the right man was convicted.
Davis is scheduled to die Wednesday which is the fourth time his execution has been set in four years. He once came within two hours of being put to death. His attorneys say his legal appeals are exhausted and the chances of him winning another reprieve have dwindled.
However, supporters hope to convince Georgia's pardons board next week to spare his life.
The execution of Davis "risks taking the life of an innocent man and would be a grave miscarriage of justice," said former President Jimmy Carter, a Democrat from Georgia and death penalty opponent who wrote a letter on Davis' behalf.