Troy Davis files Supreme Court appeal

originally by:
24th January 2011

Attorneys for Troy Anthony Davis are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overrule a federal judge who decided last year the Georgia death row inmate failed to clear his name after getting a rare chance to prove his innocence. Davis’ latest appeal, filed Friday, says the U.S. District Court judge ordered by the Supreme Court to hear his innocence claim last year “evinced a clear hostility to Mr. Davis and his claims throughout the hearing.”

Davis has long said he could prove he was wrongly convicted of the 1989 slaying of off-duty Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail if a court agreed to hear new evidence.

The Supreme Court in late 2009 ordered U.S. District Court Judge William T. Moore Jr. in Savannah to preside over such a hearing. Moore heard two days of testimony in June.

In August, the judge ruled evidence presented by Davis’ attorneys wasn’t nearly strong enough to prove he’s innocent. He wrote that while the evidence casts some additional doubt on Davis’ conviction, “it is largely smoke and mirrors.”

In their latest appeal, Davis’ lawyers say the judge was wrong in refusing to hear from witnesses who say another man later confessed to MacPhail’s killing. They say the judge should have ruled that other testimony casting doubt on the case would have been sufficient to sway reasonable jurors from convicting Davis.

“The evidence, new and old, establishes that Mr. Davis is innocent by any reasonable standard,” Davis’ attorneys wrote.

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