Sojourner's Place

court rejects davis appeal for a new trial  

Posted by SjP in

Sojourners, I am sad to report to you that Troy Anthony Davis' appeal was rejected by the federal appeals court in Atlanta on Thursday of this week. In the 2 to 1 opinion, the court ruled that Troy was unable to establish by clear and convincing evidence that a new jury would not find him guilty. Now Troy gets another 30 day-stay of execution to pursue appeals.


I am very confused. It was my impression that the issue was whether or not there was enough new evidence to warrant a new trial - not whether or not a new jury would find Troy guilty. Perhaps, I do not understand the judicial system as well as I should. But this ruling, simply makes no sense to me. And it appears that it makes no sense to the lone dissenter, Judge Rosemary Barkett, who said:

To execute Davis, in the face of a significant amount of proferred evidence that
may establish his actual innocence, is unconscionable and unconstitutional.

Unfortunately, her dissent fell on death ears of Judges Joel Dubina and Stanley Marcus who agreed that:

Davis has not presented us with a showing of innocence so compelling that we
would be obligated to act today.

Yesterday's decision leaves Troy with one more avenue for appeal to the US Supreme Court. The only problem is that they declined to even hear the appeal last year in October. Yet, the family of Troy Anthony Davis has vowed to continue to fight for a new trial.

Troy was convicted of killing off-duty Savannah Police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail. The 27-year-old former Army Ranger was shot three times before he could draw his weapon. Davis’ innocence claims have attracted international attention. They rely largely on the recantations of key prosecution witnesses who testified at trial and on statements by others who say another man told them he was the actual killer.

Obliged to you for hearing me,
and now old SjP ain't got nothin' more to say...
~~~ ~~~ ~~~
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This entry was posted at Friday, April 17, 2009 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the .

2 sojourners hollin' back

"...and on statements by others who say another man told them he was the actual killer"

this is considered as hearsay evidence and is not admissable in a court of law.

as for the recantations, it is one thing to say something in public and another thing to say it on the witness stand. the question here is whether or not there is other evidence to substantiate these recantations. we must remember that these people would or could be charged with perjury.

the only thing we actually know is that these people are liars. it just depends on which story is the lie, the testimony or the recantation. that in itself would take away any credibility of further testimony by these people in another trial.

now, don't get me wrong. i don't know the details of this case to actually make a judgment. i am only responding to what you have said in your post about it.

April 17, 2009 at 6:58 PM

@ The Griper,

What you say makes more sense to me than a ruling based on whether or not the new jury would find him innocent. I didn't think that that was the nature of the appeal. If they had said that there was not enough evidence warranting a new trial, that I could understand. Wouldn't agree - but, would understand. But, this ruling seems to uphold the guilty verdict rather than to determine if the new evidence warrants a new trial. A little different in my opinion.

Hey! This almost sounds like we might be in agreement again! Will wonders never cease!

April 18, 2009 at 11:04 PM
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