Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter Calls for Clemency
for Troy Davis
Sept. 19, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Atlanta....Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter called today on the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles to reverse its decision to deny clemency to Troy Anthony Davis, convicted for an alleged murder of a Savannah police officer in 1991. "This case illustrates the deep flaws in the application of the death penalty in this country," said former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. "Executing Troy Davis without a real examination of potentially exonerating evidence risks taking the life of an innocent man and would be a grave miscarriage of justice. The citizens of Georgia should demand the highest standards of proof when our legal system condemns on our behalf a man or woman to die."
The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles denied the clemency appeal despite serious new doubts about Mr. Davis' participation in the murder of which he was accused. Serious flaws during Davis' trial and post-conviction phases warrant reconsideration of his conviction and sentence. There was no physical evidence against Troy Davis, and the weapon used in the crime was never found.
The entire case against Davis was built on witness testimony, which contained inconsistencies at the time of the trial. Recently, seven of nine prosecution witnesses either recanted their stories or admitted to being pressured by police officers to testify against Mr. Davis. One of the other witnesses has been an alternate suspect for the murder.
Additionally, Davis' family members and close friends were not able to testify at his trial, preventing the jurors from hearing sympathetic facts, leaving them to rely only on the prosecutor's characterizations of Davis and his life.