Troy Davis has come within days – or hours – of execution three times before receiving a stay. He has been on Georgia’s death row for two decades for a crime he says he didn’t commit, and today the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted him a stay so it can conduct further review of the case over the next two weeks. His attorneys expressed relief at the decision:
“This is the first step toward a court hearing to consider the new evidence something we have been asking for for almost a decade now,” attorney Jason Ewart said.
And Innocence Project Co-Director Barry Scheck wrote this morning in the Huffington Post that an extreme and arbitrary law prevents defendants like Davis from presenting evidence of innocence in court.
Many wrongful convictions have been overturned because a recanting witness, testifying in person and under oath before a judge, is found to be credible and the reason for the recantation – often a claim that the original trial testimony was coerced – is found to be persuasive. But in Georgia the recanting witnesses don't get to testify because the state's courts have created an extraordinary Catch-22 rule — the "purest fabrication" doctrine – that arbitrarily denies evidentiary hearings even when extremely persuasive recantation affidavits have been submitted.
Read the full post here
. (Huffington Post, 10/24/08)
Read more about today’s stay here
. (Atlanta Journal Constitution, 10/24/08)
Innocence Project Staff Attorney / Mayer Brown Eyewitness Fellow Zeke Edwards spoke about eyewitness identification issues in the Davis case this morning on Democracy Now!