U.S. Supreme Court Denies Relief on Innocence Claim in Georgia Death Penalty Case


On March 28, 2011, the United States Supreme Court denied review in the case of Georgia death row prisoner Troy Davis after a federal trial court found he did not present enough evidence to prove his innocence in the killing of an off-duty police officer.

In 2009, Mr. Davis won a ruling from the Supreme Court ordering a federal district court to hold a hearing and determine whether new evidence shows that death row inmate Troy Davis is actually innocent.

A federal trial court in Georgia held a hearing, where Mr. Davis presented evidence that seven of the State’s nine witnesses had recanted, and several had implicated the State’s main witness as the actual killer. The trial judge concluded in August that the evidence was not sufficient to prove Mr. Davis’s actual innocence.

The Supreme Court refused to review that ruling.

Mr. Davis’s attorneys now plan to seek relief from the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles. Supporters of Mr. Davis, which include the NAACP, Amnesty International, former President Jimmy Carter and Pope Benedict XVI, have urged the pardons board to commute his sentence.