Monday Jun 27, 201105:04 PM GMT
Amnesty seeks release of death row inmate
Mon Jun 27, 2011 5:5PM
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Human rights group Amnesty International is campaigning to win the release of a U.S. man on death row whose criminal case has collapsed.


Troy Davis was convicted of murdering a Georgia police officer in 1991. Nearly two decades later, Davis remains on death row - even though the case against him has fallen apart.



On March 28, 2011 the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Davis' appeals and set the stage for him to possibly face a fourth execution date.


The case against him consisted entirely of witness testimony which contained inconsistencies even at the time of the trial. Since then, all but two of the state's non-police witnesses from the trial have recanted or contradicted their testimony.


Many of these witnesses have stated in sworn affidavits that they were pressured or coerced by police into testifying or signing statements against Davis.



On Aug. 19, 1989, Officer Mark MacPhail was gunned down while rushing to the rescue of a homeless man being pistol-whipped in the parking lot of a Greyhound bus station.


The day after the murder, a man named Sylvester "Red" Coles told the police that Troy Davis was the shooter. Davis was arrested and was convicted in 1991, primarily on the basis of eye-witness testimony.


There is no physical evidence linking Davis to the crime. The murder weapon was never recovered.


Major human rights and civil liberty groups, including the NAACP, Amnesty International, and the ACLU, have taken up Davis's case, and individuals ranging from President Jimmy Carter to Archbishop Desmond Tutu have spoken up on his behalf.


Davis has now exhausted all legal avenues to challenge the conviction. This means that the state of Georgia could set his execution date at any time.





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