Defiant until the end, Troy Davis was executed last night for the murder of an off-duty Savannah, Ga., police officer. NPR reports that he convinced hundreds of thousands of people around the world, but not a single court, that he was innocent. As he lay strapped to a gurney in the death chamber, Davis, 42, told relatives of Mark MacPhail that he was not responsible for his 1989 slaying.
Davis was declared dead at 11:08 p.m. The lethal injection began about 15 minutes earlier, after the Supreme Court rejected an 11th-hour request for a stay. “Justice has been served for Officer Mark MacPhail and his family,” said Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens. Hundreds of thousands of people signed petitions on Davis’ behalf, and prominent supporters included an ex-president and an ex-FBI director, liberals and conservatives. His attorneys said seven of nine key witnesses against him disputed all or parts of their testimony, but state and federal judges repeatedly ruled against him — three times yesterday alone.