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Parole board says no to condemned man

September 13, 2008|Richard Fausset | Times Staff Writer

ATLANTA — Georgia's parole board on Friday denied clemency for a man set to be put to death for killing a police officer, even though seven of the nine witnesses who testified against him have since changed their stories.

Troy Anthony Davis, 38, is set to be executed at 7 p.m. Sept. 23 at a prison in Jackson, Ga. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear Davis' appeal Sept. 29.

On Friday, Davis' attorney, Jason Ewart, said he would file an emergency stay with the high court, asking the justices to take up the case as soon as possible.

"It's probably the hardest thing I've ever had to hear," Ewart said of the parole board's decision.

"The hardest thing I've ever had to do was to tell Troy we're denied."

Davis was convicted of killing Mark MacPhail, a Savannah, Ga., police officer, in August 1989. At the time, MacPhail was working his second job, as a Burger King security guard. He was fatally shot after rushing to help a man who had been beaten outside a bus station.

Police did not recover a weapon, and prosecutors relied on witness testimony to convict Davis. Since then, most of the witnesses have altered or cast doubt on their versions of events sworn in affidavits. Some said they were pressured by police to make their original statements.

In March, the Georgia Supreme Court, in a 4-3 decision, rejected Davis' request for a new trial after reviewing the recantations.

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richard.fausset@latimes.com

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