Mother of slain officer speaks out about Davis execution

Mark MacPhail was murdered in 1989.
Mark MacPhail was murdered in 1989.
Mark's mother, Anneliese MacPhail.
Mark's mother, Anneliese MacPhail.

By Liz Flynn - bio | email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTOC/WTVM) - On Tuesday, Troy Anthony Davis is scheduled to die for killing a Savannah police officer. Davis was convicted of murdering officer Mark MacPhail in 1989.

Last week, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles denied him clemency. Now while Davis' family fights to save his life, MacPhail's mother is speaking out about her own family's heartache.

"There will always be that hole in my heart," said Anneliese MacPhail.

Anneliese and her family have been living a nightmare for the last 19 years.

"We are the victims," she said. "Mark was doing his job. He was trying to help somebody and he got shot a couple of times and I have to answer to my grandchildren about their dad and what kind of man he was. It tears me up every time."

Mark MacPhail was murdered in 1989 while he was working as a Savannah police officer. Davis was convicted of the crime two years later. He has been sitting on death row ever since.

His supporters appealed to the Georgia Supreme Court, saying some witnesses recanted their testimony. He was given a stay of execution last year, but later denied a new trial. Now, even though his new execution date is just days away, Anneliese is not breathing any easier.

"I always wait for that last minute change that could happen," she said. "It is out of my hands. All I can do is wait and see what happens."

If Davis' execution does take place, her children plan to attend, but Anneliese will not watch it happen.

"That's not going to ease my pain and fill the hole in my heart," Anneliese explained. "There is no closure for me. There never will be to me. I cannot imagine closing this, but there will be, maybe, some peace that it is over. Mark can rest in peace."

Former president Jimmy Carter is now asking the State Board of Pardons and Paroles to reverse its decision to deny Davis clemency. In a letter released by the Carter Center, the former president said, "this case illustrates the deep flaws in the application of the death penalty in this country."

To read the full release from the Carter Center, click here.