Update: Abolish! has a copy of the statement given by U.S. Rep. John Lewis to the Board of Pardons and Paroles during the hearing. Here is an excerpt:
“We sometimes hear that a guilty person has gone free because of some legal technicality, and we understandably feel frustrated when that happens. Now we have the opposite situation. A man who may well be innocent may die tomorrow — all because of those technicalities. This is much more than frustrating; it is tragic. It is unjust. And at a time when we are trying to convince the whole world that our way is best, it does not speak well of us. I will say only a little about the facts of the case, because you have other witnesses that know them better than I.
“But here is what I understand to be true. I understand that there is no physical evidence. No murder weapon. No fingerprints. No DNA.
“Just the testimony of a few frightened and confused people who were taken completely by surprise when a tragedy suddenly erupted — without warning — for just a few seconds — in the middle of the night. And now, the case against Mr. Davis, that rested on that testimony, is a shambles. I understand that there were nine key witnesses, seven of whom have recanted their testimony. The eighth witness has left the state and refuses to talk about the case. And the ninth cannot recant without confessing that he committed the murder. Indeed, some of the other recanting witnesses have now implicated him.
Original post: Breaking news is that Troy Davis has been granted a 90-day stay of execution [eerily, the link is to a news website whose URL is 11alive.com].
The state Board of Pardons and Paroles has granted a 90-day stay of execution for Troy Davis, who was to be executed Tuesday in the killing of a Savannah police officer in 1989.
Lawyers for Davis spent more than five hours Monday pleading with the board to grant a reprieve, arguing that Davis is innocent of the murder of Officer Mark MacPhail.
Prosecutors were given a chance during the closed-door hearing to rebut the request for clemency for Davis, who was to be executed Tuesday at 7 p.m.
The board’s options included granting a stay of his execution while it considers the issues.
Also Monday, Davis’ lawyers filed an appeal before the state Supreme Court of an earlier decision by a Chatham County judge to deny a stay of Davis’ execution.
Among the people who argued for clemency for Davis during the parole board hearing were friends, family and U.S. Representative John Lewis, an Atlanta Democrat and civil rights icon. Five witnesses who testified at trial spoke to the board on Davis’ behalf, Ewart said.