The lethal injection began at 10:53 pm EDT. He was declared dead at 11:08 pm EDT. Twitter recorded 7671 tweets per second in the moments before word of Davis’s execution, making his death the second most active Twitter event in 2011.
His funeral was attended by more than 1,000 people in Savannah, Georgia, on October 1st.
In his final words, Davis maintained his innocence, saying:
“Well, first of all I’d like to address the MacPhail family. I’d like to let you all know, despite the situation – I know all of you are still convinced that I’m the person that killed your father, your son and your brother, but I am innocent. The incident that happened that night was not my fault. I did not have a gun that night. I did not shoot your family member. But I am so sorry for your loss. I really am – sincerely. All I can ask is that each of you look deeper into this case, so that you really will finally see the truth. I ask my family and friends that you all continue to pray, that you all continue to forgive. Continue to fight this fight. For those about to take my life, may God have mercy on all of your souls. God bless you all.”
Troy Anthony Davis was an African-American man convicted of and executed for the August 19, 1989, murder of police officer Mark MacPhail in Savannah, Georgia. MacPhail was working as a security guard at a Burger King restaurant when he intervened to defend a man being assaulted in a nearby parking lot.
During Davis’s 1991 trial, seven witnesses testified they had seen Davis shoot MacPhail, and two others testified Davis had confessed the murder to them. It should be stated that 7 out of the 9 witnesses RECANTED THEIR STATEMENTS.
Among 34 witnesses who testified for the prosecution, and 6 others for the defense, including Davis. The murder weapon was never found.
Davis maintained his innocence up to his execution. In the 20 years between his conviction and execution, Davis and his defenders secured support from the public, celebrities, and human rights groups. Amnesty International and other groups such as National Association for the Advancement of Colored People took up Davis’s cause. Prominent politicians and leaders, including former President Jimmy Carter, Rev. Al Sharpton, Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former U.S. Congressman from Georgia and presidential candidate Bob Barr, and former FBI Director and judge William S. Sessions called upon the courts to grant Davis a new trial or evidentiary hearing.
In July 2007, September 2008, and October 2008, execution dates were scheduled, but each execution was stayed shortly before it was to take place.
Nearly one million people signed petitions urging the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles to grant clemency. The Board denied clemency and, on September 21, it refused to reconsider its decision. After a last minute appeal to the United States Supreme Court was denied, the sentence was carried out through lethal injection on September 21, 2011.
The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles received heavy criticism with allegations of racism and inequality after denying clemency to Troy Davis despite the fact that too much doubt surrounded his conviction. Even a juror in the Troy Davis trial expressed concern about his conviction.
But in 2008, 2 hours before confessed murderer, Samuel David Crowe was to be executed, The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles commutated his sentence to life imprisonment. Crowe was white.