Troy Davis is scheduled for execution in Georgia today for the murder of a policeman, even though almost all the original witnesses have signed affidavits reversing their earlier testimony. Most claim their testimony was forced by the police. Numerous witnesses have said that another man, one of Davis’ original witnesses, has claimed to have committed the murder.
The new evidence did not get Davis a new trial; he was convicted on circumstantial evidence only; and the judge at an evidentiary hearing acknowledged the case was not ironclad. The Georgia Board of Pardons, which exists as a last resort when courts make errors, said in 2007 it would not allow any execution to proceed if there was any doubt about the prisoner’s guilt. Many people worldwide are asking the board to commute the death sentence of Troy Davis, myself among them.