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July 16, 2007

"Will Georgia Kill an Innocent Man?"

The headline of this post is the headline of this Time magazine article discussing the Troy Davis case. Georgia has scheduled Davis's execution for Tuesday as the punishment for his (now seemingly suspect) conviction of murder following the shooting of a Savannah police officer in 1989.  The Ohio Death Penalty Information blog and Capital Defense Weekly have both provided lots of effective coverage of this case, and this morning brings this front-page Washington Post article on the basic factual and legal issues.

Because I have not followed this case too closely, I am not informed enough to make assertions about whether Davis is innocent or predictions about whether Georgia will go forward with his scheduled execution tomorrow.  Readers are, of course, encouraged to share informed views in the comments.

July 16, 2007 at 08:22 AM | Permalink

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Comments

Wow. Just last night, my wife and I watched the oscar-winning documentary Murder on a Sunday Morning. Then, this article in the Post today. I hope somebody does something to stop this execution.

Posted by: parke | Jul 16, 2007 9:30:49 AM

Time Magazine's credibility on this issue ain't so hot, as it breathlessly reported Roger Coleman's bogus claims of innocence.

Posted by: federalist | Jul 16, 2007 12:05:11 PM

So the state should kill him now and investigate later, right?

Posted by: Andrew Fine | Jul 16, 2007 1:04:48 PM

This is an AEDPA statute-of-limitations issue, right? Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it an open question in the Supreme Court whether a prima facie showing of actual innocence that satisfies the Schlup gateway excuses a violation of the 1-year bar (as opposed to procedural default on state law grounds)?

Posted by: UN Plaza | Jul 16, 2007 1:53:34 PM

Andrew, I don't believe I said that.

Posted by: federalist | Jul 16, 2007 4:28:51 PM

UN-- Maybe, but I think the 11th Circuit said he didn't make such a showing (the AJC quoted his lawyer as saying they didn't raise actual innocence b/c it wasn't raised in state court and would have been dismissed on that ground).

Posted by: Jay | Jul 16, 2007 4:50:31 PM

This isn't an AEDPA issue at all. The question of whether Davis would have qualified for the Schlup gateway is moot because the district court went ahead and considered his claim on the merits anyway. The 11th did also. Consideration was de novo, not deferential. Davis didn't raise a Herrera claim. The opinion is at 465 F. 3d 1249. Judge Barkett was on the panel. No dissent. I have more on this at Crime and Consequences.

The parole board has granted a "stay" (technically, I think it's a reprieve) to give themselves more time to consider the evidence, which is the correct way to handle these cases, IMHO.

Posted by: Kent Scheidegger | Jul 16, 2007 8:07:02 PM

Yep...Just another example of the system working, in a dynamic "last second" kinda way, Kent. We can all rest assured - as you apparently are - as the US justice system continues to display its true colors: various shades of red -- and black.

Posted by: Scott Taylor | Jul 16, 2007 8:59:28 PM

When clemency proceedings are conducted at the last minute, it's usually because counsel chose to file them at the last minute. Not sure, but that appears to be the case here.

Posted by: Kent Scheidegger | Jul 16, 2007 10:10:37 PM

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