In the end, the spirited rallies , petitions, vigils and digital support on Twitter weren’t enough to save death-row inmate Troy Davis . The Georgia inmate, convicted of killing police officer Mark MacPhail, was put to death by lethal injection and pronounced dead at 11:08 p.m. ET on Wednesday (September 21).
Individuals present said that Troy Davis maintained his innocence to the very end and told his friends and family to keep praying, according to CNN. The execution was earlier scheduled for 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, but Georgia state officials delayed it as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on whether to grant Davis’ request for a stay of execution. At 10:21 p.m., CNN.com reported that the Supreme Court had denied Davis’ motion for a stay.
Davis had been fighting to win a clemency ruling that would spare him the death penalty after he was found guilty in the 1989 killing of MacPhail. The Georgia police officer was working as a security guard at a Savannah-area Burger King in August 1989 when he tried to help a man who was being assaulted in a nearby parking lot. Davis was fingered as the assailant and during his 1991 trial, a number of witnesses testified that they saw Davis shoot MacPhail, though a murder weapon and DNA evidence were never recovered from the scene. Ballistics tests, however, showed that the fatal shot came from the same gun used in another shooting in which Davis was earlier convicted.
Davis’ lawyers argued that new ballistics tests disprove the prosecution’s case and that seven of the nine original eyewitnesses changed all or part of their testimony in later proceedings. The long-running case has garnered worldwide attention and Davis’ cause was taken up by groups and individuals such as Amnesty International, the NAACP, former President Jimmy Carter, the Pope, civil rights leader Al Sharpton and former FBI director William Sessions, who all called on the courts to grant Davis a hearing in light of the new evidence.
Many entertainers voiced their displeasure with the Davis execution on Wednesday night. [artist id=”1526237″]Big Boi[/artist], who was among the large crowd outside the prison protesting in an effort to raise awareness and ultimately save Davis’ life, tweeted throughout the day. He ended with a poignant note: “Just remember we fought til the very end….peace and Blessings.”
The Outkast MC (along with Atlanta rapper Pill) even appeared on Wednesday’s “RapFix Live,” urging supporters to continue to pray. “The best thing to do is you gotta pray,” Big Boi said via Skype from Atlanta. “Anything is possible; we’re looking for a miracle right now.”
Unfortunately for Troy Davis, his family, friends and supporters, that miracle never came.