Skip to comments.Ga. inmate wants polygraph test before execution
Posted on 09/20/2011 9:17:53 PM PDT by americanophile
ATLANTA (AP) Yet another appeal denied, Troy Davis was left with little to do Tuesday but wait to be executed for a murder he insists he did not commit.
He lost his most realistic chance to avoid lethal injection on Tuesday, when Georgia's pardons board rejected his appeal for clemency. As his scheduled 7 p.m. Wednesday execution neared, his backers resorted to far-fetched measures. They asked prisons officials to let him to take a polygraph test; urged prison workers to strike or call in sick; asked prosecutors to block the execution and they even considered a desperate appeal for White House intervention.
He has gotten support from hundreds of thousands of people, including a former FBI director, former President Jimmy Carter and Pope Benedict XVI, and a U.S. Supreme Court ruling gave him an unusual opportunity to prove his innocence last year. State and federal courts, however, repeatedly upheld his conviction for the 1989 killing of Mark MacPhail, an off-duty police officer who was working as a security guard in Savannah when he was shot dead rushing to help a homeless man who was being attacked.
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If a polygraph is not admissible in court, what good would that do?
Every prison is filled with innocent people, just ask them.
If he had his chance to prove his innocence and failed, you gotta pull the plug.
I read several articles on this earlier today, as well as listening to a Fox News spread on it. Not once did I see where he denied anything (others denied he did it), nor did I see at any hearing where he actually testified. I can’t say either is absolute — don’t know for sure — but if he didn’t testify, its almost 99.99% certain that he did it.
When you’re charged with fraud and susceptible to a process crime (false statements, etc.), you may not want to testify in order to keep yourself out of further trouble. When you’re charged with murder and you really didn’t do it, can there EVER be a justification to not testify?
sodium pentathol == hey if he’s going to die, why not?
The system is far from perfect; innocent people are convicted all the time. The unusal elements of this case should give everyone pause.
The system calls for reasonable doubt, not a smidgon of doubt. He’s had more than one chance to prove his innocence and, at all times, the courts upheld his conviction.
Either the death penalty is a just punishment or it is not, when one is convicted of crime.
According to the story the witnesses placed him at the scene
“as the shooter” and spent casings found at the scene were linked to another killing he was convicted of. If the defense ‘had anything’ they would have brought it up at trial I would think.
The lower courts upheld the conviction. That some witnesses
suddenly go wobbly doesn’t make the verdict invalid I hope.
And this didn’t become a thought in someone’s mind before now?
What are the unusual elements?
If you read the case, he also shot another man in the face earlier in the day...which he doesn’t deny...just that he didn’t shoot the police officer later (even though he was shot with the same caliber gun)...probably because shooting the police officer carried the death penalty.
As for his fellow gangsters recanting their testimony later...that is not very compelling.
The casings would tie the shooting to the gun he used in the earlier shooting. I am not sure how they would tie the shooting to the person who pulled the trigger. If for hypothetical’s sake the fellow who reportedly boasted of the killing was the culprit, he would have had to use Davis’s gun, which would raise the question of how he got it. Did Davis give it to him? Did he steal it from Davis? What would be the reason for either one? Occam’s Razor would suggest Davis hung on to his gun and used it again.
This clearly illustrates that Georgia has a serious problem with the death penalty. Why in the heck did it take 22 years to execute this cold-blooded murderer? They should take a lesson from the Commonwealth of Virginia and learn how to reduce the period from sentencing to execution by 75% or more.
I would like Davis’ accuser, Sylvester “Redd” Coles, to take a polygraph.
He was known to have a gun similar to the 38 cal murder weapon but “gave it to some other man” the night of the murder and it was never found.
But Davis probably shot some other guy in a drive-by the same night. Put them together in a pit and the one that comes out alive is guilty.
Every prison is also filled with those who never caused harm to anyone, but merely violated punitive, extremely controlling laws.
Why didn’t he ask for a poly back when he was first convicted and any time thereafter?
Kiss of death.
The problem with reading death penalty cases in the media is that one practically has to actually examine the trial record in order to get a fair understanding of the case.
This is because the MSM and their favorite sources such as Amnesty International have an agenda beyond reporting in an impartial manner the key facts of a case which is opposition to the death penalty, so one cannot trust their reporting on these types of matters.
No, it calls for proof, beyond a reasonable doubt.
A polygraph cannot be used against you but it can be used to support your case.
That is my non-law degree understanding anyway. 8)
It’s not just “some witnesses,” it’s 7 of the 9 whose testimony convicted him.
7 of the 9 witnesses recanting their stories is unusual.
Yes, the client is seldom smarter and better educated than the prosecutor. Putting a rambling, semi-literate person with a history of violence on the stand is not likely to exonerate themselves in the eyes of the jury.
Fine. He’s had multiple chances at the reasonable doubt, and he was convicted on all of them.
You can’t keep holding trials until you get the outcome that you want. At some point, the sentence must be carried out.
And let God figure out the absolutes.
Well, it was a good try anyway. Try introducing a polygraph that was not ordered by the prosecution in a criminal trial. Let me know how that goes.....
No kidding. Conservatives rightly don’t believe a word the government says, unless it’s a prosecutor who is about to take someone’s liberty or life! It’s perplexing to me.
Well, I did say that it was only my non-law degree opinion.
I watch a lot of CSI! 8)
Here is Judge Moore’s order, for anyone who does not want to rely on the MSM to describe the evidence in the case:
I really hope you are someone you love are never in a spot where G-d must figure in your absolutes, especially where a man/women is the arbiter.
What’s the point in holding a trial if you’re going to stand by the verdict, but throw a sissy fit if it doesn’t go your way?
He was duly convicted on the same evidence three times.
Let’s not convict anybody of anything.
Let’s open up the prisons and let everybody out.
There is no point in holding trials if the measure is to be absolute certainty.
Prison can be stopped any time and the person declared not-guilty can be compensated for any prosecutor/police misconduct.
Death is absolutely final and several people have been declared not-guilty after the fact.
That is classic.
I’d have the death penalty applied for the shooting in the face he admits to, regardless of the death of the policeman.
You’re never going to have absolute certainty.
Videos can be doctored. Confessions can be coerced. Witnesses can be bribed.
You can explain to a father whose daughter was raped until she dies as to why the inmate, whose conviction is almost certain why he gets to live and others do not.
You are also the sort of person, where because real justice is almost unattainable, that many people cheer inhumane prison conditions or prison rape because they no longer have faith in a justice system that will give them justice.
In all trials, every means should be used to best determine guilt or non-guilt, but once an accused is found guilty, thre should be little hesitation in carrying out the sentence.
Troy Anthony Davis was sentenced to death for the murder of Savannah police officer Mark Allen MacPhail in 1989. On August 19, 1989, Troy Anthony Davis was at a Burger King restaurant with friends and and struck a homeless man named Larry Young in the head with a pistol when Young refused to give a beer to one of Davis’s friends. Officer MacPhail, who was working an off-duty security detail at the Greyhound bus terminal next door, heard Young cry out and responded to the disturbance. Davis fled and, when Officer MacPhail, wearing his full police uniform, ordered him to stop, Davis turned and shot the officer in the right thigh and chest. Although Mark MacPhail was wearing a bullet-proof vest, his sides were not protected and the bullet entered the left side of his chest, penetrating his left lung and his aorta, stopping at the back of his chest cavity. Davis, smiling, walked up to the stricken officer and shot him in the face as he lay dying in the parking lot. The officer’s gun was still strapped in his holster and his baton was still on his belt. Davis fled to Atlanta and a massive manhunt ensued. The next afternoon, Davis told a friend that he had been involved in an argument at the restaurant the previous evening and struck someone with a gun. He told the friend that when a police officer ran up, Davis shot him and that he went to the officer and “finished the job” because he knew the officer got a good look at his face when he shot him the first time. After his arrest, Davis told a cellmate a similar story. He was arrested after surrendering a few days after the murder. Trial began exactly two years to the day of Officer MacPhail’s murder. This resulted in Davis’ conviction for murder after less than two hours of deliberation by the jury, and in the imposition of a death sentence after seven hours of deliberation. He was also convicted of obstruction of a law enforcement officer, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. One of the two counts of aggravated assault arose from an incident where Davis shot into a car that was leaving a party an hour before the murder of Officer MacPhail. Michael Cooper was struck in the head by a bullet, severely injuring him and leaving the bullet lodged in his jaw. Ballistics tests matched the shells from the murder of the police officer to shells found at a party earlier in the evening where Michael Cooper had been shot. Cooper identified Davis as the shooter. Even though the US Supreme Court rejected his final appeal without dissent in June of 2007, Davis received a 90-day stay from the state pardons and parole board just one day before his July 17, 2007 execution date. The stay was granted to examine claims by witnesses that they had given erroneous testimony or were no longer certain about their identification of Davis. Mark MacPhail’s son, 18-year-old Mark Allen MacPhail Jr. spoke against the 2007 stay to members of the Board of Pardons and Parole. “I told them how it felt having him ripped away from me at such an early age. Picture having Father’s Day and having no one to give anything to,” MacPhail said he told the board. Anneliese MacPhail, mother of the slain officer, commented to a reporter after learning that Davis’s request for a new trial was denied in March 2008. “I wonder, what do all those witnesses remember after 18 years? There is no new evidence. No mother should go through what I have been through.” Mark’s wife Joan MacPhail said she has lost her best friend, the father of her two children and now her peace of mind as appeals for Davis have drawn on for almost two decades. “It’s like another punch in the stomach,” she said. “You have to relive that night over and over. That’s so wrong. Why shouldn’t we have peace in our lives?” About the changing witnesses, the Georgia Supreme Court stated that most of the witnesses who recanted “have merely stated they now do not feel able to identify the shooter.” The majority could not ignore the trial testimony, “and, in fact, we favor that original testimony over the new.” The son of a U.S. Army Ranger, Mark MacPhail was a graduate of Columbus High School in Georgia. His mother, Anne, still lives in Columbus, Georgia. Davis received another stay of execution before his September 23, 2008 execution date.
they are the same way with polls
hate them as a rule unless they go their way then by Jove polls are a thing of pure wonder
there are actually a few innocent folks in the joint and a fair amount over charged especially on drug cases in the Feds
i don’t know about this guy...let him have his polygraph
You got that right, brother...
Also, you can be guilty, believe your own BS and pass the polygraph.
Kind of like being crazy enough to believe your own lies.
Don’t know the situation here, but often you have something wrong upstairs to kill outside of war. Either through drugs or something else the brain is messed up and could in some cases say they are from Mars and pass the polygragh, so it isn’t that big a deal here.
Not really. From Judge Moore's order:
"To hear Mr. Davis tell it, this case involves credible, consistent recantations by seven of nine state witnesses. (Doc. 2 at 5-11.) However, this vastly overstates his evidence. Two of the recanting witnesses neither directly state that they lied at trial nor claim that their previous testimony was coerced. Supra Analysis Parts III.B.i (Antoine Williams), III.B.v (Harriet Murray). Two other recantations were impossible to believe, with a host of intrinsic reasons why their author's recantation could not be trusted, and the recantations were contradicted by credible,live testimony. Id. Parts III.B.iii (Jeffrey Sapp), III.R.iv (Darrell Collins). Two more recantations were intentionally and suspiciously offered in affidavit form rather than as live testimony, blocking any meaningful cross-examination by the state or credibility determination by this Court. Id. Parts III.B.vi (Dorothy Farrell), III.B.vii (Larry Young). Moreover, these affidavit recantations were contradicted by credible, live testimony. While these latter two recantations are not totally valueless, their import is greatly diminished by the suspicious way in which they were offered and the live, contrary testimony. Finally, Kevin McQueen's recantation is credible, but his testimony at trial was patently false, as evidenced by its several inconsistencies with the State's version of the events on the night in question. Id. Part III.Bii (Kevin McQueen). Accordingly, it is hard to believe Mr. McQueen's testimony at trial was important to the conviction, rendering his recantation of limited value. Ultimately, four of Mr. Davis's recantations do not diminish the State's case because a reasonable juror would disregard the recantation, not the earlier testimony; and the three others only minimally diminish the State's case. these affidavit recantations were contradicted by credible, live testimony."
Judge Moore discusses each of the purported "recantations" in detail in his order.
What is striking in this case is how many statements the police collected in the hours immediately following the shooting, the large number of witnesses to the event and the consistency and detail in these fresh witness statements.
* Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. Eccl. 8:11
Yes, absolutely. The prosecutor could tear someone apart on the stand, even if they are innocent, and make them look like the worst person in the world. To much of a case relies on the "gut feelings" of jurors.
Also, to be blunt, quite often, the defendants, guilty or innocent, in criminal cases, do not have the best backgrounds. This lets the prosecutor have a field day, just teeing off on them. Going back a couple of hundred years, the framers of the constitution realized this even back then, and its part of the reason we have the 5th amendment.
Looking at the entire story...at the very least, he at least knows who pulled the trigger, if it wasn’t him....which you’d think that he’d want to point fingers, but never does. So I’m not buying this story of his.
Why in the heck did it take 22 years to execute this cold-blooded murderer?
Did that answer your question?
I read some articles on this case and I agree with you. It seems to me like the original “witness” the guy who ran to the cops to turn this guy in, is a highly likely suspect.