UPDATE: Troy Davis was executed late Wednesday night, roughly four hours after he had originally been scheduled to be put to death and less than an hour after the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it had denied his final request for a stay of execution.
In the end, Davis was able to convince "hundreds of thousands of people but not the justice system of his innocence in the murder of an off-duty police officer," the Associated Press reports.
The AP with a quick summary:
Though Davis’ attorneys say seven of nine key witnesses against him have disputed all or parts of their testimony, state and federal judges ... repeatedly ruled against granting him a new trial. As the court losses piled up Wednesday, his offer to take a polygraph test was rejected and the pardons board refused to give him one more hearing.
And the New York Times paints a picture of the scene outside the Georgia prison where Davis was executed:
Throughout the evening, police officers in riot gear kept what appeared to be about 500 protesters at bay across the state highway from the prison entrance.
A dozen supporters of the death penalty, including people who knew the family of the slain officer, Mark MacPhail, sat quietly, separated from the Davis family and their supporters by a stretch of lawn and rope barriers.
UPDATE 9:32 p.m.: The U.S. Supreme Court has denied Troy Davis' motion for a stay of execution, CNN reports.
MSNBC reports that the execution is expected in the next 20 to 30 minutes.
UPDATE 7:37 p.m.: A last-ditch appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court has led to an eleventh-hour delay in the execution of Troy Davis, although the court has not yet decided whether to grant a full stay.
Davis' lawyers filed the appeal with the court Wednesday evening at around 6 p.m., roughly an hour before the execution was set to begin. Georgia officials have put the execution on hold as they await word on an official ruling.
ABC News reports that the court could decide anytime in the next seven days whether to go through with the execution, and it could still occur Wednesday night.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the crowd of supporters who had gathered outside of the prison began singing "We Shall Overcome" after receiving the unofficial word of the temporary delay pending the Supreme Court review.
UPDATE 10:38 a.m.: It is looking increasingly less likely that Troy Davis will receive a last-second reprieve before he is set to be executed later Wednesday at 7 p.m. EST.
A defense attorney for the death row inmate says that Georgia has blocked a request for Davis to be given a polygraph test before the execution. The attorney, Stephen Marsh, told the Associated Press that he had hoped that the test would convince the state pardons board to reconsider its decision against clemency for his client.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution explains what Davis' final few hours will look like: He'll spend six hours with his family from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. He'll be given a clean set of clothes and then eat his last meal at 4 p.m. An hour later he'll be given the chance to make a final recorded statement, which can be longer than the one he'll be allowed to make once he is later strapped to the gurney. At 6 p.m. he'll be offered a sedative to calm him.
One other note, from the paper: Davis has requested that his last meal be the same as what the other 2,100 inmates will have for dinner Wednesday: a cheeseburger, potatoes, baked beans, slaw, cookies, and a grape drink.
[University of Virginia law professor Brandon L. Garrett explained Tuesday in Slate how the Troy Davis case shows how wrong eyewitness evidence can be. You can read it here.]
POST Tuesday 10:40 a.m.: Georgia officials will proceed with the high-profile execution of Troy Davis Wednesday after the state’s pardons board rejected his plea for clemency.
Davis was convicted of the 1989 murder of Mark MacPhail, an off-duty police officer who was rushing to the defense of a homeless man being attacked in 1989. But Davis and his lawyers maintain that it was a case of mistaken identity and say there is new evidence that indicates another man at the scene was the one who fired the fatal shot.
Among the high-profile supporters who backed Davis’ clemency bid were former president Jimmy Carter, Pope Benedict XVI and a number of former federal officials, according to the Associated Press.
Davis’ case “has already taken more unexpected turns than just about any death-penalty case in Georgia history and his innocence claims have attracted international attention,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution explains.
State officials have set an execution date for Davis four times in as many years but on the three prior times he was granted stays – twice only hours before he was set to be put to death.
Wednesday’s date appeared likely to be pushed back as well when state officials announced late Monday that they would not be making an immediate decision on Davis’ fate. But after hearing hours of testimony from his supporters and prosecutors the board denied the request for clemency Tuesday, the AP reports.
The board has the sole authority in Georgia to grant or deny clemency.
Amnesty International USA director Larry Cox Called the decision "unconscionable.”
"Should Troy Davis be executed, Georgia may well have executed an innocent man and in so doing discredited the justice system," Cox said in a statement.
Davis, 42, is scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection on Wednesday at 7 p.m. EST.