Federal Appeals Court Stays Execution of Troy Davis Based on New Evidence
The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta has agreed to stay the execution of Troy Anthony Davis, the 40-year-old Georgia man convicted of killing a police officer in 1989. After 15 years on death row, Davis was scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection Monday, despite protests from world leaders and local advocates that new evidence indicates he may be innocent of the crime.
Although the U.S. Supreme Court had refused to hear the case last week, Davis’ lawyers on Wednesday asked the 11th Circuit to stay his execution to allow them to file a new round of appeals.
“Mr. Davis’ execution in light of new evidence concerning his innocence is constitutionally intolerable,” Davis’ pro bono lawyers wrote in their motion to the court. “Society recoils at state execution of an innocent person.”
In issuing its ruling today, Judges Joel Dubina, Rosemary Barkett and Stanley Marcus wrote: “Upon our thorough review of the record, we conclude that Davis has met the burden for a stay of execution.”
The court added, however, that the stay was only temporary: Davis must show that he can meet the “stringent requirements” of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 to pursue another habeas corpus lawsuit.
This is the third time a court has granted a last-minute stay of execution just days or hours before Davis was scheduled to be put to death.