Written by Jesse Muhammad
Originally published 11.6.08
(FinalCall.com News)–When the news of his third stay of execution came down the news wire, Georgia death row inmate Troy Davis immediately called his eldest sister Martina Correia to share his thoughts about the spiritual significance of why his life is being spared while others want to take it away.
â€œTroy told me on the phone that he believes God keeps showing him mercy because he is not the one that committed this crime,â€ said Ms. Correia to The Final Call. â€œWe are elated about this stay of execution but he knows that he is not completely out of the woods. The prison officials have tried to break his spirit but they canâ€™t. He said thatâ€™s why they are upset.â€
On Oct. 24, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a 25-day stay of execution for Mr. Davis who had been scheduled to die on Oct. 27. Earlier in the month, the Supreme Court rejected an appeal from Mr. Davis. He was scheduled to be put to death in September before a stay was issued just two hours before the time of execution.
Mr. Davis, a Black man, was convicted in 1991 of the murder of White Savannah police Officer Mark MacPhail three years earlier. He has always maintained his innocence and his case has drawn worldwide attention and support.
â€œMy brother told me on the phone that he is grateful for all of the support he has received and the works of so many people around the world,â€ said Ms. Correia to The Final Call. â€œHe understands that his life is being dangled in front of him but he wonâ€™t let his faith be shaken.â€
Witnesses claimed Mr. Davis, who was then 19 years of age, and two others were harassing a homeless man in the parking lot of a Burger King restaurant when the off-duty officer arrived to help the man. Witnesses also testified at trial thatMr. Davisthen shot Mr. MacPhail twice and fled the scene.
Since Mr. Davisâ€™ 1991 conviction, seven of the nine witnesses against him have recanted their testimony and no physical evidence has been presented that links Mr. Davis to the killing.
â€œThis case can be pivotal. They understand that as long as Troy is alive, it increases the opportunity for their corruptness to be exposed,â€ said Ms. Correia. â€œIf Troy is freed it could shut down the death penalty system in Georgia and expose these rogue cops who get people to make false testimonies against others to secure convictions.â€
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