UPDATE 2: Supreme Court refuses the stay, will not block the execution.
UPDATE: The Supreme Court of the United States has temporarily issued a reprieve while they consider the case. Could be minutes, could be hours, could be seven days.
The Georgia Pardons & Paroles Board is set to execute Troy Davis at 7 pm ET on International Day of Peace. Troy Davis’ attorneys filed a motion for an emergency stay of execution. Lawyers wrote, according to Huffington Post, “No physical evidence has ever conclusively linked Mr. Davis to the murder and significant suspicion rests on the man who implicated Mr. Davis to the police originally.” The Board denied the motion. The defense also wanted a certificate of probable cause to appeal. That was denied too.
Troy Davis tried to get a polygraph or lie detector test before being executed. That request was denied.
In a brief statement published by Dave Zirin at The Nation, Troy Davis declares:
“The struggle for justice doesn’t end with me. This struggle is for all the Troy Davises who came before me and all the ones who will come after me. I’m in good spirits and I’m prayerful and at peace. But I will not stop fighting until I’ve taken my last breath. Georgia is prepared to snuff out the life of an innocent man.”
Nation editors have posted a moving editorial on Troy Davis:
Davis is a black man convicted of killing a white police officer—and in Southern and Northern states alike, this fact alone will trump all others. “Race is everything in this case,” Georgia Congressman John Lewis declared in September 2008, on a day when Davis came within two hours of lethal injection…
…Any support for the death penalty (or attempts to perfect it) amount to an acceptance of a vicious system that cannot be separated from Rick Perry’s Texas—and which is, in fact, exemplified by it. It’s a system that thrives on racism, that condemns the innocent to die. There will not be justice for Troy Davis. But his case has reawakened Americans to a relic of injustice that must be abolished once and for all.
Read the full editorial, “The Killing of Troy Davis,” here. [cont’d.]
Six retired corrections officials, including a former Warden who used to work for the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison where he oversaw executions for the state, have written letter asking the state of Georgia to reconsider its decision. If they don’t, they have asked staff that will be carrying out the execution to resist. But this letter likely means nothing to the state of Georgia. There is wide suspicion that tens of thousands of calls have been streaming into the Pardons Board for the last 24 hours and they have in the past hours just taken phones off the hook so they can ignore the world that collectively objects to the atrocity about to be carried out.
As I wrote yesterday, “It is clear that the US will be making international new headlines tomorrow for an execution that may be better described as a state-sanctioned murder given the amount of doubt in the case. It is appalling given how much notoriety this case has that Georgia is actually going to go through this.” The state is going to legally lynch a man.