Breakthrough: Death Row Prisoner Troy Davis to Get New Innocence Hearing
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A major breakthrough has just occurred in the case of Georgia death row prisoner Troy Anthony Davis: Today, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered a federal judge to "receive testimony and findings of fact as to whether evidence that could not have been obtained at the time of trial clearly establishes [Davis's] innocence."
In other words: the overwhelming proof that Troy Davis is an innocent man, wrongfully convicted for a 20-year old murder, will finally be considered in a court of law.
Troy Davis has come within hours of execution multiple times over the past few years, only to be spared at the last moment each time. He was convicted in 1991 for the murder of an off-duty police officer in Savannah, Georgia, a conviction based entirely on eyewitness testimony. No physical evidence linked him to the crime -- and in the years he has spent languishing on death row, seven out of the nine eyewitnesses who condemned him to die have recanted their testimony, with some admitting they were coerced by police. One of the witnesses who has not recanted is Sylvester "Red" Coles, who many believe committed the murder.
Liliana Segura is a staff writer and editor of AlterNet's Rights and Liberties and War on Iraq Special Coverage.