The Georgia Supreme Court issued a 4-3 opinion today, essentially affirming Troy Davis’ conviction. Troy Davis, you will remember, was granted a stay of execution by the Georgia Board of Parole and received a letter of support from The Pope.
According to the court, statements by a slew of witnesses who claimed that they had lied at trial under police pressure were insufficient to support a finding that a different result would likely be reached if the case were subjected to a new trial — in a case in which the only evidence presented was the apparently coerced testimony of the same witnesses. As a result of this inexplicable finding, the Georgia Supreme Court refused to stand in the way of the execution of a man who insists he is, and whom many believe to be, innocent.
Here’s a sampling of the recantations:
I kept telling them that I didn’t know. It was dark, my windows were tinted, and I was scared. It all happened so fast. Even today, I know that I could not honestly identify with any certainty who shot the officer that night.
After the officers talked to me, they gave me a statement and told me to sign it. I signed it. I did not read it because I cannot read.
I nodded and repeated what they said, whether it was true or not…. I am not proud for lying at Troy’s trial, but the police had me so messed up that I felt that’s all I could do or else I would go to jail.
It really is remarkable that the Ga. Supreme Court did not find that these recantations would result in a different outcome if Davis were granted a new trial.
An absolutely mind-boggling and repulsive decision.