Troy Anthony Davis Loses Challenge
A very sad day for those of us who believe he is an innocent man. AJC:
In a 172-page order, U.S. District Judge William T. Moore Jr. said Davis failed to prove his innocence during an extraordinary hearing in June ordered by the U.S. Supreme Court. Davis, on death row for 19 years, now has one final appeal before his death sentence can be carried out.
“Ultimately, while Mr. Davis’ new evidence casts some additional, minimal doubt on his conviction, it is largely smoke and mirrors,” Moore wrote. “The vast majority of the evidence at trial remains largely intact, and the new evidence is largely not credible or [is] lacking in probative value.”
Having reviewed the voluminous court record, Moore concluded, “Mr. Davis vastly overstates the value of his evidence of innocence.”
That evidence includes the recantations of seven of the nine witnesses who testified at trial that Davis was the killer. Judge Moore found only one credible. Not credible enough:
The judge examined each of the seven recantations and concluded that only one was entirely credible. But, he said, the credible recantation came from a witness whose earlier trial testimony was “patently false” and was thus not important to the conviction.
“Not all recantations are created equal,” Moore said.
Two other witnesses, he said, had offered recantations that were partly credible. But their testimony would “only minimally diminish the state’s case,” he said.
The judge concludes he was “acting as a fact-gatherer directly for the Supreme Court, so any appeal by Davis may have to go directly to the Justices.”
Davis’s lawyers continue to believe that he is innocent.