September 21, 2011

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UPDATE: Officer MacPhail's mother told CNN that SCOTUS says she will have a decision by 8:30 pm.

Lawyers for Troy Davis report that a seven-day reprieve was granted while the Supreme Court examines the petition for a stay of execution. He can, however, still be executed during that time if the Georgia authorities so choose:

ATLANTA — Troy Davis, the condemned inmate who convinced hundreds of thousands of people but not the justice system of his innocence, filed an eleventh-hour plea Wednesday asking the United States Supreme Court to stop Georgia authorities from executing him for the murder of an off-duty police officer, The Associated Press reported.

His execution had been set to begin at 7 p.m., but as the hour arrived, Georgia prison officials were still waiting for the high court's decision.

The appeal to the Supreme Court was one of several last-ditch efforts by Mr. Davis on Wednesday. Earlier in the day, an official of the N.A.A.C.P. said that the vote by the Georgia parole board to deny clemency to Mr. Davis was so close that he hoped there might still be a chance to save him from execution.

Edward O. DuBose, president of the Georgia chapter, said the organization had “very reliable information from the board members directly that the board was split 3 to 2 on whether to grant clemency.”

“The fact that that kind of division was in the room is even more of a sign that there is a strong possibility to save Troy’s life,” he said.

The N.A.A.C.P said it had been in contact with the Department of Justice on Wednesday, in the hope that the federal government would intervene on the basis of civil rights violations, meaning irregularities in the original investigation and at the trial.

I was a little shocked to see the riot police surrounding the prison tonight, ready to move against anti-death penalty protesters. We really are seeing the increased militarization of the police.

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