Death row inmate protests his innocence more loudly each time execution is cancelled

Save Troy Davisoriginally published by:
27th March 2010

Troy Davis fasted and prayed, chose his last visitors, and gave instructions for his own burial. “We had to order a hearse,” recalls Davis’s older sister, Martina Davis Correia. “It was parked in front of the prison door; our sister passed out when she saw it.

We were told we’d have to pay $1,000 for the autopsy. The state was about to kill Troy, and they didn’t know the cause of death? They told us we couldn’t witness the execution because they needed the chairs for the family of the victim . . .”

Davis, who is black, will turn 42 this year. He has spent more than half his life in prison for the murder of Mark MacPhail, an off-duty white policeman, a crime he has always denied.

Three times, the state of Georgia has slated Davis for execution. In 2007, he was spared on less than 24 hours’ notice. The second time, in September 2008, when the hearse was waiting, he was less than two hours from a lethal injection.

A month later, the process was stopped three days before execution. As Amnesty International reports, the condemned man and his family “have been subjected to the rollercoaster of hope and despair that is a hallmark of this cruel punishment”.

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