US Prison Proceeds with Execution after Last-Ditch Clemency Bid Fails

World | September 22, 2011, Thursday // 13:42|  views

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Staff at a U.S prison executed convicted murderer Troy Davis, 42, by lethal injection and pronounced him dead at 11:08 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

Davis was convicted in 1991 for the 1989 murder of a police officer, Mark MacPhail, in Savannah following a fight with a homeless man over a bottle of beer, according to reports of USA Today.

Since then seven out of the nine key witnesses who implicated him have recanted their evidence, several saying they were cajoled by police into giving false eye-witness statements.

Davis lost his final bid for clemency despite overwhelming evidence indicating that his conviction for murder is unreliable.

The execution came less than an hour after the U.S. Supreme Court announced it was denying a request for a stay in the case.

Inconclusive proof of Davis' guilt had triggered a widespread international support campaign including former US president Jimmy Carter, South Africa's bishop Desmond Tutu and Pope Benedict XVI.

Davis maintained his innocence up until the end, according to reports of media witness.

He told the MacPhail family "he was sorry for their loss but said he was not personally responsible for the death of their son, father and brother".

"For those about to take my life, may God have mercy on your souls. May God bless your souls," Davis was also quoted as saying.

The state prison in Jackson prison administered the lethal drugs at about 10:53 p.m. ET, after which he 42-year-old man was declared dead.

France has deplored the execution of Troy and reiterated its opposition to capital punishment.

"We strongly deplore that the numerous appeals for clemency were not heeded," the French foreign ministry said.

France also stressed its opposition to the death penalty "wherever it takes place and whatever the circumstances."

The statement, issued swiftly after the announcement that David was dead, underlined that "all judicial errors in the application (of the death penalty) are irreversible."

"While two-thirds of nations throughout the world today renounce this punishment, in law or in practice, this case illustrates the need to continue the fight for universal and definitive abolition of the death penalty," the statement concluded.

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Tags: execution, lethal injection, convicted murderer, Georgia, clemency bid


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