Troy Davis supporters in the U.S. and Europe were trying just about anything to spare him from lethal injection Wednesday evening for killing a Georgia policeman, a crime he and others have insisted for years that he did not commit.More >>
The state Pardons and Paroles Board said in a statement Wednesday it would not review its decision to allow the execution to go forward.More >>
JACKSON, GA (WTVM) - Troy Davis's execution comes 22 years after his world collided with an off-duty police officer. This same case has grabbed the world's attention. Prison officials told the media in Jackson, GA that Troy Davis was executed at 11:08 p.m. Wednesday. Davis, 42, died by lethal injection.
He was convicted of killing off-duty police officer and Columbus-native, Mark MacPhail, in 1989. The Savannah police officer was 27 at the time of his murder - Davis was 20 years old.
Just 30 minutes before Davis was officially pronounced dead Wednesday night, the U.S. Supreme Court sent back an order refusing to block the execution.
His execution was scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m., but once the hour arrived, prison officials waited for the high court's decision. The delay was the result of lawyers for Troy Davis filing an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court.
As news of the delay spread, Davis's supporters cheered. However, the news did not sit well with MacPhail's mother in Columbus, GA who called the delay, "ridiculous".
Davis refused his last meal and chose not to take a sedative that would put him to sleep before the concoction of lethal drugs was injected in to his body.
Minutes before he would die, the warden asked if Davis wanted to say anything, "Davis lifted his head up, looked at that first row, and made a statement in which he said, he wanted to talk to the MacPhail family, and said that despite the situation you're in, he was not the one who did it," said Jon Lewis, WSB Radio reporter and a witness to the execution, "He asked his family - his family and friends to keep praying; to keep working and keep the faith."
Davis maintained his innocence until the very end, telling the family of Mark MacPhail that he was not responsible for the officer's death and that he did not have a gun, "I did not personally kill your son, father. I am innocent."
Davis urged the case needed further investigation, "The incident that night was not my fault...dig deeper into this case to find out the truth."
There were two individuals in the death chamber with him, a member of the medical staff and an unidentified person.
Amongst the last words uttered by Davis were thoughts directed to prison staff, "May God have mercy on your souls."
Witnesses told the media Wednesday night that the atmosphere was somber – adding it was one of the most eerie feelings they have ever felt. As Troy Davis' took his last breath, the only thing they could hear in the room was the air conditioner.
The execution process lasted 15 minutes.
Members of the MacPhail family did not comment following Wednesday night's execution.
Davis has been scheduled to die three times before – most recently in October 2008 when the execution was halted by the U.S. Supreme Court, just two hours before it was scheduled to take place.
"The killing of innocence, such as Troy Anthony Davis, however legal it may in the state of Georgia, however legal it may be in the eyes of the Supreme Court of the United States, this sort of legalized lynching is not right, said Thomas Ruffin, attorney for Troy Davis," He [Davis] called upon the MacPhail family, his family and friends, and all of those who want what is right to prevail and what is wrong to be crushed, to investigate this case honestly, thoroughly, and find in the truth that he didn't kill Officer MacPhail, but someone else did."
Davis's attorney added, "It wasn't just the MacPhail family that has suffered through this entire process, but the Davis's also lost a son."
This case has drawn quite a bit of attention from the public. Several hundred supporters of Davis gathered outside the state prison in Jackson, GA as hundreds of law enforcement looked on in riot gear.
The gathering was mostly quiet, featuring candles, prayers and songs. Only three people were taken away in handcuffs after crossing a crowd barrier.
In addition, supporters of the slain officer were on hand.
Protests also were held at the Capitol in Atlanta and City Hallin Savannah, outside the White House and in Paris and London.
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Copyright 2011 WTVM. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.