In June, the U.S. Supreme Court gave Georgia death row prisoner Troy Davis a rare chance to clear his name from a murder conviction in an evidentiary hearing. Today, however, a federal judge said Davis failed to prove his innocence, and Davis now faces execution for killing an off-duty police officer in 1989, according to CNN.
“Mr. Davis vastly overstates the value of his evidence of innocence. … Some of the evidence is not credible and would be disregarded by a reasonable juror. … Other evidence that Mr. Davis brought forward is too general to provide anything more than smoke and mirrors,” the court found.
Davis, who was convicted in 1991, has maintained his innocence for the past two decades.
Davis was convicted based in large part on testimony from eyewitnesses who said he shot the policeman twice before fleeing the scene. In the years following his conviction, seven of the nine eyewitnesses have since recanted their testimony. During Davis’ previous appeal, the Innocence Network
filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals
, highlighting the role of eyewitness misidentification in more than three-quarters of wrongful convictions overturned through DNA testing.
Davis’ sister told CNN that she and the lawyers were still reading the court’s decision and was unsure of the next steps in Troy’s defense strategy. They have the option to appeal to the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and if that fails, to the Supreme Court again.