Someone murdered an off-duty police officer named Mark MacPhail in Savannah, Ga., in the late 1980s. The state of Georgia convicted a man named Troy Davis and sentenced him to death in 1991.
No one ever found the weapon used in the crime. No one ever found evidence that links Troy Davis to the murder of Mark MacPhail. Seven of the nine alleged eyewitnesses during the trial recanted or contradicted their original testimony. Of the only two alleged eyewitnesses maintaining their stories, one of them was a suspect in the murder. The other one could not identify Davis when MacPhail was murdered but was able to identify him two years later.
Davis has asked the courts to review evidence that could support his claim to innocence. A three-judge panel denied his petition in April 2009. Many groups are urging people to sign online petitions to the new district attorney in Chatham County, Georgia, Larry Chisolm, to plead with him to work to prevent the execution of Troy Davis and to reopen the case against him. Davis presently has a final appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court.