Rallies are taking place around the country today on behalf of Troy Davis, who has been on Georgia’s death row for 18 years for a murder he says he didn’t commit. He has come within hours of execution three times only to receive last-minute stays. There is no DNA evidence to test in Davis’ case, but a wealth of other evidence – including recantations by seven of nine original eyewitnesses – points to his innocence. No court has fully heard this new evidence from Davis, but a new execution date could be set any day.
A USA Today story on Monday contrasted the cases of Davis and
, a former Tennessee death row inmate who was finally cleared last week, nearly three years after the U.S. Supreme Court ordered a hearing in his case to consider new evidence. Although House was eventually cleared, it took a protracted legal battle to present the evidence of his innocence.
Perhaps even more difficult than obtaining access to DNA testing is getting access to a hearing with new non-DNA evidence, advocates say.
Laura Moye, a deputy director of Amnesty International USA, which supports Davis' appeal, says the "question of innocence doesn't seem to be as much of a priority for the courts as the craving for finality."
Read the full story here
. (USA Today, 05/17/09)