Truth to Power

Good news for Troy Davis

New hearing ordered in high-profile US death row case

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The US Supreme Court on Monday ordered that Troy Davis, a high-profile death row inmate, should receive a new hearing to determine whether evidence not available at his trial could prove him innocent.

“The district court should receive testimony and make findings of fact as to whether evidence that could have been obtained at the time of the trial clearly establishes petitioner’s innocence,” the court said.

“The substantial risk of putting an innocent man to death clearly provides an adequate justification for holding an evidentiary hearing,” the ruling said.

Davis, who is black, was sentenced to death in 1991 for the murder of Mark Allen MacPhail, a white policeman, in Savannah, Georgia.

He has always proclaimed his innocence and his supporters note that the murder weapon was never found, and neither DNA nor fingerprints implicated Davis in the crime.</em>

Good news for Troy Davis, hopefully the evidence- or lack of- will allow him to be a free man once again.

Of course, Cheney’s duck huntin’ buddy Guido Scalia won’t lose any sleep if the state accidentally murders an innocent man:

Scalia says there’s nothing unconstitutional about executing the innocent

This Court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who has had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is “actually” innocent. Quite to the contrary, we have repeatedly left that question unresolved, while expressing considerable doubt that any claim based on alleged “actual innocence” is constitutionally cognizable.

Now I didn’t go to law school, but the 8th Amendment states:

…nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Now, is anything crueler than the state killing an innocent man? Scalia, you’re a cruel and unusual punishment.


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