Timeline: Troy Davis execution

By Bill Rankin The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Aug. 19, 1989: About 1 a.m., off-duty Savannah police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail is working security for a Burger King when a disturbance breaks out in the parking lot. MacPhail hurries to investigate and is shot and killed. He leaves a wife, an 18-month-old daughter and a 7-week-old son.

Aug. 23, 1989: Accompanied by a pastor, Troy Anthony Davis, knowing he is wanted for the killing, surrenders to police.

Aug. 30, 1991: A Chatham County jury sentences Davis to death for the murder of MacPhail.

Feb. 25, 1993: The Georgia Supreme Court unanimously affirms Davis’ conviction and sentence.

May 13, 2004: After Davis’ lawyers file a petition with claims that key witnesses at the 1991 trial had recanted or backed off their testimony, a federal judge in Savannah declines to hear the claims casting doubt on conviction. "There is no danger of a miscarriage of justice," the judge says.

Sept. 26, 2006: The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta affirms the federal judge’s ruling.

June 29, 2007: A Savannah judge sets a new execution date for Davis: anytime between noon July 17, 2007, and noon July 24, 2007.

July 2007: On or about the 15th, in a letter from his U.S. envoy, Pope Benedict XVI notes problems with the evidence and asks Gov. Sonny Perdue to spare Davis’ life.

July 16, 2007: With Davis’ execution set for the next day, the state parole board issues a stay.

March 17, 2008: By a 4-3 vote, the Georgia Supreme Court upholds Davis’ death sentence, rejecting his request for a hearing.

Sept. 12, 2008: The state parole board declines to grant clemency to Davis.

Sept. 19, 2008: In a letter, former President Jimmy Carter tells the parole board that its decision not to grant clemency "risks taking the life of an innocent man and would be a grave miscarriage of justice."

Sept. 23, 2008: Less than two hours before Davis’ scheduled execution, the U.S. Supreme Court grants him a stay.

Sept. 28, 2008: MacPhail’s mother, Annaliese, reacts angrily to the latest stay: "My son is dead. Theirs is still alive. That’s just the way I feel."

Oct. 14, 2008: The U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear Davis’ appeal.

Oct. 24, 2008: The federal appeals court halts Davis’ execution a third time, granting a stay.

April 16, 2009: The federal appeals court, in 2-1 decision, rejects Davis’ bid for a new trial.

Aug. 17, 2009: The U.S. Supreme Court orders a federal judge to hear new evidence and determine if Davis can clearly establish his innocence.

June 23, 2010: U.S. District Judge William T. Moore Jr. convenes a hearing and listens to two days of testimony.

Aug. 24, 2010: Moore rejects Davis’ claims, calling his new evidence largely "smoke and mirrors."

March 28, 2011: The U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear Davis’ appeal of Moore’s ruling.

Sept. 6: The Georgia Department of Corrections sets a Sept. 21 execution date for Davis.

Sept. 20: The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles declines to grant Davis clemency.

Sept. 21: U.S. Supreme Court denies final appeal; Davis dies.

Copyright 2011 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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