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View Full Version : Any chance Bush will commute this guy's sentence?


jAZ
07-16-2007, 11:19 PM
... if the Georgia Board doesn't grant clemency? Quite an amazing story.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/15/us/15execute.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

The man convicted of shooting (Officer Mark A. MacPhail of the Savannah Police Department) that night in 1989, Troy A. Davis, is likely to be the focus of an unusual clemency hearing before the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles. On Monday, the board is to hear the case of Mr. Davis, 38, who was sentenced to death in 1991 for the killing.

Though prosecutors have considered the case solved for nearly two decades, a chorus of eyewitnesses say the police arrested the wrong man. Now, on the eve of execution, scheduled for Tuesday, they have joined his family and his lawyers in an effort to get the courts to hear new evidence they say proves he is innocent.

With no physical evidence the murder weapon was never found prosecutors relied heavily on the testimony of nine eyewitnesses who took the stand against Mr. Davis.

But since his trial, seven of the nine have recanted or changed their testimony, saying they were harassed and pressed by investigators to lie under oath. Other witnesses have come forward identifying a different man as the shooter.

But because of a 1996 federal law intended to streamline the legal process in death penalty cases, courts have ruled it is too late in the appeals process to introduce new evidence and, so far, have refused to hear it.

I can't imagine that the 1996 law would be constitutional as it seems it might deprive an innocent man of due process and his right to life.

Mr. Kotter
07-16-2007, 11:26 PM
... . it seems it might deprive an innocent man of due process and his right to life.

That [might be] quite an assumption on your part....given the limited "evidence" we have.... :shrug:

Fixed it for the obtuse among us.... ;)

jAZ
07-16-2007, 11:38 PM
That's quite an assumption on your part....given the limited "evidence" we have.... :shrug:
"might" is "quite an assumption"?

Logical
07-17-2007, 12:44 AM
That's quite an assumption on your part....given the limited "evidence" we have.... :shrug:Well except it sure does not seem like they have evidence to convict beyond a reasonable doubt. Seems like there is now plenty of doubt.

Pitt Gorilla
07-17-2007, 01:08 AM
That's quite an assumption on your part....given the limited "evidence" we have.... :shrug:You do understand the meaning of the word "might", don't you?

patteeu
07-17-2007, 06:19 AM
Due process doesn't mean an unlimited number of opportunities to raise reasonable doubt.

Based on the limited description of the facts, it sounds like this guy has a reasonable argument for clemency. I'd still put the odds below 50/50 though.

The state ought to be considering perjury charges against these eyewitnesses who now claim they lied under oath and they should be investigating their claims that they were harassed to do so.

I wouldn't get all doe-eyed about this convict though. I doubt that he's the boy next door who has inexplicably gotten tangled up in the criminal justice system. In other words, I bet there's more to the story than is apparent from this article. (I didn't click the link to see what the full story says so maybe "the rest of the story" is completely laid out for us there.)

Mr. Kotter
07-17-2007, 06:39 AM
That [might be] quite an assumption on your part....given the limited "evidence" we have.... :shrug:

Fixed it for the obtuse among us.... ;)

...The state ought to be considering perjury charges against these eyewitnesses who now claim they lied under oath and they should be investigating their claims that they were harassed to do so....

Yup.

go bowe
07-17-2007, 10:04 AM
Due process doesn't mean an unlimited number of opportunities to raise reasonable doubt.

Based on the limited description of the facts, it sounds like this guy has a reasonable argument for clemency. I'd still put the odds below 50/50 though.

The state ought to be considering perjury charges against these eyewitnesses who now claim they lied under oath and they should be investigating their claims that they were harassed to do so.

I wouldn't get all doe-eyed about this convict though. I doubt that he's the boy next door who has inexplicably gotten tangled up in the criminal justice system. In other words, I bet there's more to the story than is apparent from this article. (I didn't click the link to see what the full story says so maybe "the rest of the story" is completely laid out for us there.)hot damn, another paul harvey...

used to love listening to him when i was growing up...

penchief
07-17-2007, 08:00 PM
Due process doesn't mean an unlimited number of opportunities to raise reasonable doubt.

By definition it must mean that new or relevant information cannot be ignored. And defendants should be given every opportunity to continue fighting for their innocence when new evidence is presented. There should never be a limit put on relevant evidence, IMO.

If, indeed, that person is proven innocent by way of new evidence then the virtue of reasonable doubt is vindicated. It would be a legitimate reason to argue that an unlimited number of opportunities IS due process being played out to its fullest.

Based on the limited description of the facts, it sounds like this guy has a reasonable argument for clemency. I'd still put the odds below 50/50 though.

I'd agree on both counts. It's kind of sad, though.


The state ought to be considering perjury charges against these eyewitnesses who now claim they lied under oath and they should be investigating their claims that they were harassed to do so.

Agree 100%. It's fun being in agreement with you.

I wouldn't get all doe-eyed about this convict though. I doubt that he's the boy next door who has inexplicably gotten tangled up in the criminal justice system. In other words, I bet there's more to the story than is apparent from this article. (I didn't click the link to see what the full story says so maybe "the rest of the story" is completely laid out for us there.)

What you say may be true but it completely misses the point, imo. This guy may or may not be a choir boy but that doesn't matter because faulty convictions can happen to anyone. But we have faith in our legal system because we believe that we have a fighting chance. That our voice will get a fair hearing.

I may not be a lawyer but I have a lot of respect for our legal system. And one of the biggest things that inspires me is that it provides equal justice under the law. The little dog has the same chance as the big dog. We're not supposed to get railroaded or neglected. What's right is right.

We're judged by our peers and when new evidence is forwarded, it's imperative to review that evidence in the context of how it would have affected the outcome of a case.

That's been a big thing separating us from the rest of the world. As lowly citizens, we've always felt secure that our legal system was an advocate of truth and justice for anyone and everyone.

Logical
07-17-2007, 09:27 PM
Due process doesn't mean an unlimited number of opportunities to raise reasonable doubt.
Why not?
The state ought to be considering perjury charges against these eyewitnesses who now claim they lied under oath and they should be investigating their claims that they were harassed to do so.
I agree
...

patteeu
07-19-2007, 11:11 AM
By definition it must mean that new or relevant information cannot be ignored. And defendants should be given every opportunity to continue fighting for their innocence when new evidence is presented. There should never be a limit put on relevant evidence, IMO.

If, indeed, that person is proven innocent by way of new evidence then the virtue of reasonable doubt is vindicated. It would be a legitimate reason to argue that an unlimited number of opportunities IS due process being played out to its fullest.

Why not?

Due process has never meant unlimited process. If it did, we could have never had a death penalty. And if it meant what penchief thinks it should mean, it would lead to an endless series of baseless claims of "new or relevant information" for any death row inmate who wants to postpone his execution.

If the story is right about 7 of 9 eyewitnesses recanting their testimony though, I think it's a strong case for clemency.

Smed1065
07-19-2007, 09:45 PM
He was not working for Bush so I doubt it. :)

I like the justice system to a point but stating that the small dog has as much chance as a big dog is a little naive, IMO.

Money versus no money makes a big difference in lawyers.

penchief
07-19-2007, 11:26 PM
Due process has never meant unlimited process.

If it did, we could have never had a death penalty. And if it meant what penchief thinks it should mean, it would lead to an endless series of baseless claims of "new or relevant information" for any death row inmate who wants to postpone his execution.

If the story is right about 7 of 9 eyewitnesses recanting their testimony though, I think it's a strong case for clemency.

By definition, "DUE" means what is proper. How can due process be attained in a process that has been tainted? If witnesses bore false witness, that would have posioned the well to a degree that it could hardly be called due process.

I'm not trying to be extreme (as you seem to infer). I'm simply expressing my thoughts about what you expressed. I didn't try to paint you as extreme. I like law and order just like you.

But the most important thing that protects we, the people, from being exploited by those who have wealth and power IS the laws of this land. And those laws are there to protect us, IMO.

I hate watching as the highest ranks of our government disregard the U.S Constitution as if it were meaningless. The fact that they have no respect for the purpose of those laws is proof to me that they have no qualms about having their way with us.