In 2007 the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, the body which has the final say in the state on whether executions should go ahead, made a solemn promise. Troy Davis, the prisoner who is scheduled to die by lethal injection at 7pm local time on Wednesday, would never be put to death unless there was “no doubt” about his guilt.
Here are 10 reasons why the board – which decided on Tuesday to allow the execution to go ahead – has failed to deliver on its promise and why a man who is very possibly innocent will be killed in the name of American justice.
1. Of the nine witnesses who appeared at Davis’s 1991 trial who said they had seen Davis beating up a homeless man in a dispute over a bottle of beer and then shooting to death a police officer, Mark MacPhail, who was acting as a good samaritan, seven have since recanted their evidence.
2. One of those who recanted, Antoine Williams, subsequently revealed they had no idea who shot the officer and that they were illiterate – meaning they could not read the police statements that they had signed at the time of the murder in 1989. Others said they had falsely testified that they had overheard Davis confess to the murder.
3. Many of those who retracted their evidence said that they had been cajoled by police into testifying against Davis. Some said they had been threatened with being put on trial themselves if they did not co-operate.