Supreme Court holds Davis case until September

Troy Davis supporters deliver petition to Chatham County DA office.
Troy Davis supporters deliver petition to Chatham County DA office.

By Don Logana - bio | email

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - A decision from the US Supreme Court will not be made until September in the case of convicted killer Troy Anthony Davis.

Davis is on death row for the 1989 murder of Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail.

Thursday, the high court was supposed to review a request from attorneys on whether or not it will hear Davis' case. However, a backlog of cases forced the appeal to be pushed back to Monday.

Since Davis' conviction of the murder in 1991, there have been numerous appeals and several stays of execution.

In May, Davis' lawyers filed an appeal with the US Supreme Court asking for a hearing in Federal Court.

If the US Supreme court passes on the case, Davis' attorneys say the next step will be appealing to the new Chatham County district attorney Larry Chisolm to reopen the case locally.

Monday, Davis' attorney Jason Ewart, told WTOC the US Supreme Court had decided to hold over two cases until September. The Davis case and a Guantanamo Bay case.

Three other Habeus Corpus cases were denied Monday, giving Ewart hope the Troy Davis case has gained new support and life in the court system.

The US Supreme Court will not meet again until mid-September.

The Chatham County District Attorney's office has said they will not comment on the case until the Supreme Court decision is announced.

In a statement Monday, the DA's office said:

"The US Supreme Court has delayed making a decision on the habeas appeal filed by Georgia death row inmate Troy Anthony Davis until September 2009. As previously stated, the Chatham County District Attorney's office has no comment on the substance of this case until all appeals are exhausted."

Monday morning, more than 60,000 signatures from petitions from Troy Davis supporters and the NAACP were delivered to Chisolm's office asking him to reopen the case. 11,000 of those signatures were from Chatham County.

Davis' lawyers and countless supporters say his case deserves to be reopened because seven of the original nine witnesses have recanted their testimony.

Prosecutors say the evidence is solid and that the 40-year-old should be put to death.

If the US Supreme Court allows the Davis appeal to go through, the case will be sent to the federal US District Court in Savannah.

If denied, the case will be sent back to Chatham County and a new execution date will be set.

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