Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Innocent man headed to Georgia's death chamber?

In this business, it's hard to stay on top of individual death penalty cases. There's too much going on in struggling against the institution of capital punishment to keep much focus on individuals, especially when the cases are in other states, not to mention all of the other issues the ACLU works on.

So it took awhile for Troy Davis in Georgia to get my attention. But it finally has. People I trust and whom we've worked with are saying that Davis is likely innocent. Last week SCOTUS refused to hear Davis's claims of new evidence, and Georgia has now set an execution time frame for the seven day period beginning July 17.

The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty has blogged about the case here, here, here, here, and here and has issued an action alert here. Amnesty International USA has also blogged about the case and issued a press release last week.

In 1992, Justice Harry Blackmun accused the high court of coming "perilously close to murder" in the Herrera v. Collins decision when it refused to hear new evidence of possible innocence. Supposedly, the House decision last year righted that wrong (a lawyer could explain it better), but now it appears that, unless the GA parole board grants clemency, Georgia will walk down that same road in executing an innocent man, with the SCOTUS driving the getaway car.

Andy in Harrisburg

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