By Alexis Tereszcuk – Radar Senior Reporter
A man set to be executed on Wednesday is going for a last minute plea for clemency in order to avoid the death penalty and multiple witnesses have come forward to support his claim of innocence.
Troy Anthony Davis was convicted of murdering an off-duty police officer in 1989, but his legal team is arguing that there is “abundant evidence” that another man committed the murder and say that they have “sworn statements from three jurors who sentenced Davis to death at his 1991 trial, but who now express doubt with their verdicts and are asking that Davis be spared the death penalty,” according to the Atlanta Journal and Constitution.
Davis’ attorneys have filed the clemency petition with the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, noting that seven of the prosecution’s nine witness have either recanted or backed off their testimony. More witnesses have come forward to say in sworn statements that Sylvester “Redd” Coles told them he was the one who pulled the trigger in the murder of Mark Allen MacPhail. Coles was at the scene of the crime with Davis.
The petition says there “is new evidence and testimony that debunks the state’s ballistics evidence and any suggestion that a pair of short pants found by police in a washing machine at the Davis home had blood on them,” according to the newspaper.
One of the jurors who sentenced Davis to death said in a sworn affidavit on September 12 that he should not be executed. “I feel, emphatically, that Mr. Davis cannot be executed under these circumstances. To execute Mr. Davis in light of this evidence and testimony would be an injustice to the victim’s family [and] to the jury who sentenced Mr. Davis.”
Theodosia Johnston, another juror, said “I do not want Troy Davis to be executed.”
The board will consider the request for clemency on Monday, but the support for Davis has become an international movement.
A petition signed by 663,000 people opposing the execution was delivered to the parole board on Thursday and there is a public march planned for Friday evening in Atlanta.