MacPhail's son speaks on Davis appeal denial

Mark MacPhail Jr.
Mark MacPhail Jr.

By Mike Manhatton - email | bio

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - It's been 20 years since the death of Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail and now the man convicted in his murder is again closer to execution.

This after the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals denied Troy Davis' latest request. See Troy Anthony Davis appeal denied.

Friday, we sat down with Mark MacPhail's son for the first time since Thursday's announcement.

His entire life, much of what Mark MacPhail Jr. knows about his father comes from a murder case.

"It took me years to be able to talk about my father," he told us.

Mark is talking now, but it can be hard.

"A little bit, yes, knowing that I'm fighting for him," he said. "He gave his life for the community and now I'm trying to help out his name and help him in some way."

He found out about the latest twist from the courts from one of WTOC's reporters.

"I was actually walking out of work into a parking lot, going through my phone, had it turned off, checking my voicemails. Had a call from Christy Hutchings saying the appeal was denied," he told us.

But he's been there before. Over the years, Davis has filed numerous appeals and received several stays of execution.

Now, the same concerns are running through Mark's mind.

"Same thing that goes through it every time, what's the next step? The past two years we've had countless appeals and it just keeps on getting drug out," he said. "It's always something new because there's always a new appeal, something about the trial or something that was done during the trial. And, you know, always trying to figure out who's telling the truth here."

He gets by with help from friends and total strangers.

"They all say the same thing, I'm sorry, you have to go through this," he said. "They give condolences, they say I'm sorry, a lot. A lot of people who I don't even know, who knew my father, or who knew my mom, or somewhere knows the family, will come up to me, and say I know you don't know me, but, I'm sorry. And we're here for you if you ever need anything. And just average people."

Mark isn't angry or cold hearted, but he is hoping Davis' execution brings closure.

"I think it will. The next few days after, it's going to be a little tough. Just because this is a human life that's being taken and human life does matter. But you know, he decided to break the law. And our law says, you kill an officer of the law, who tries to uphold it, you must be punished."

Davis' attorneys now have 30 days to file an appeal with the US Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court does nothing or rejects his appeal, the case goes back to the Chatham County court for a judge to set a new execution date.

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