Facing Execution for the Third Time, Troy Davis Granted a Stay

After a last-minute challenge by his attorneys, Georgia death row prisoner Troy Anthony Davis was granted a stay of execution today by a federal court. Davis was scheduled to die by lethal injection on Monday.

As reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

The ruling is only the latest in what has been a roller-coaster ride of appeals for Davis. It marks the third time in 16 months he has won a stay shortly before his scheduled execution.
..."This is the first step toward a court hearing to consider the new evidence, something we have been asking for for almost a decade now," attorney Jason Ewart said.
Russ Willard with the state Attorney General's Office said the office had told the Department of Corrections that the execution was off for Monday. In the meantime, he said, state attorneys are reviewing the court's order and exploring the their options.
Earlier this week, Davis asked the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for permission to pursue another round of litigation in federal court on claims he is innocent. The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 requires such a request to be made to an appeals court before another federal habeas corpus lawsuit can be filed.
On Friday, 11th Circuit said the stay of execution is conditional. Davis must make a showing he can meet the "stringent requirements" to pursue another round of appeals, the decision said.
Troy Davis has been on death row since 1991, for the murder of a police officer in Savannah, Georgia. No physical evidence linked him to the crime, and seven out of nine eyewitnesses have since recanted their testimony. Among his supporters are former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Georgia Congressman John Lewis, and exonerated death row prisoners across the country. Davis came within two hours of execution last month.

Yesterday, October 23rd, was a Global Day of Action for Troy Davis. Rallies and protests took place in 12 states and four other countries. Troy's sister, Martina Correia said on Friday: "To all the people around the world working hard and fighting for him, he wants to say thank you and this fight has to continue."

For more information on Troy Davis, go here.

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