- CRITTER TALK
The Supreme Court delayed Troy Davis’ execution to review arguments by Davis’ legal team and the State of Georgia as to whether he deserves a stay. The decision came at 7:05 p.m. tonight, five minutes after his scheduled death was to occur.
Davis’ supporters erupted in cheers, hugs, and tears outside the Jackson, Georgia, jail. The Supreme court could reverse the decision any time tonight or over the next seven days. His execution has been stayed four times over his 22-year stay on death row: multiple legal appeals failed to prove his innocence.
Based on the recanted testimony of seven witness during his most recent trial, public support grew for Davis. There is another possible suspect who may have committed Officer MacPhail’s murder. The defense team claims the witnesses’ changed testimony and potentially new evidence casts too much doubt on Davis’ guilt to execute hum.
A growing number of celebrities, politicians, and social media users called for delay of the execution because of “too much doubt.” Supporters include Lupe Fiascom, Sean Diddy Combs, Gabrielle Union, Kimora Lee Simmons, Questlove of the Roots, and reality stars Toya Wright and Kim Kardashian. Combs has asked his 4 million Twitter followers followers to call Attorney General Eric Holder and urge him to intercede on Troy Davis’s behalf.
Other celebrity supporters include Katy Perry, Kanye West, Sandra Bernhard, The Indigo Girls, and Russell Simmons.
Big Boi of Outkast tweeted to his followers that they go to the Georgia state prison in Jackson to protest the decision. The Roots’ Questlove tweeted a similar message.
The NAACP and the Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson held a news conference today calling for the execution to be halted. Others who voiced support for Davis include former president Jimmy Carter, Pope Bendict, and a former FBI director.
At a protest in front of the White House today at least 12 Howard University students were arrested for failing to move off the White House sidewalk, according to ABC News affiliate WJLA. The protest there is expected to last until 7 p.m.
A flurry of messages on Twitter using the hashtags #TroyDavis and #TooMuchDoubt showed thousands of Davis’ supporters flooded the Jackson Distirct Attorney’s office, Georgia Judge Penny Freezeman, and the U.S. Attorney General’s office with phone calls and emails to beg for a stay on the execution.
A representative denied that some users accused Twitter of blocking the topic from trending on Tuesday. Hashtags were trended today in U.S. cities, Germany, the UK, Sweden, France, and many other nations. Many Tweets said case symbolized the return to Jim Crow laws and racial inequalities in the justice system.
Amnesty International encouraged supporters to attend a vigil at the church across the street from the prison at 5:30 p.m. and protest the execution at 6:00 p.m., asking participants to wear a black armband bearing the words, “Not in my name!” An spokesperson for the organization, Wendy Gozen Brown, said Troy Davis asks that the protests remain peaceful. In this type of situation, there’s always the potential for it to go awry, with certain groups, angry rhetoric. But Troy Davis would want people to keep fighting peacefully, for him and for, as he would put it, all of the other Troy Davis’ out there.
The Supreme Court overturned the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, which rejected Davis’s plea for clemency on Tuesday.