Now that the execution of convicted cop killer Troy Davis has been carried out in Georgia, the morning-after stories are focusing on the controversy over his punishment and the effect the case has had on all those involved.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution was with 77-year-old Anneliese MacPhail as she waited to hear whether the man convicted of killing her son in 1989 would be put to death.
“I don’t hate him,” the AJC writes she said of Davis. “The hate is gone. He disgusts me. … I want my justice. I just want it done.”
And when the sentence was carried out, “she said slowly and with emphasis: ‘It is over.’ “
The Associated Press spoke with officer Mark MacPhail’s widow. “I will grieve for the Davis family because now they’re going to understand our pain and our hurt,” Joan MacPhail-Harris said in a telephone interview. “My prayers go out to them. I have been praying for them all these years. And I pray there will be some peace along the way for them.”
Meanwhile, as the AP adds, “Davis’ supporters staged vigils in the U.S. and Europe, declaring ‘I am Troy Davis’ on signs, T-shirts and the Internet. Some tried increasingly frenzied measures, urging prison workers to stay home and even posting a judge’s phone number online, hoping people would press him to put a stop to the lethal injection.”
The movement on Davis’ behalf was sparked by word that seven of nine witnesses who testified against him have recanted all or parts of their earlier testimonies.
Davis always maintained his innocence and just before dying urged MacPhail’s family to “look deeper into this case to find the truth.”
Following his execution, Amnesty International urged its supporters to “take a moment to honor the life of Troy Davis and Mark MacPhail. Then, let’s take all of our difficult feelings and re-double our commitment to the abolition of the death penalty.”
The execution, according to the local Ledger-Enquirer:
Drew “125 protesters filed into a roped-off field [near the prison in Jackson, Ga.] to hold vigil, chanting, praying and singing. Some waved signs saying ‘Free Troy Davis.’ One man called for people to boycott Christmas if the execution went through.
“I’m not saying I know the truth, but my personal belief is, yes, he is innocent,” said Ellen Kubica, 28, a resident of Germany who came to support Davis. “There is so much doubt. You cannot say that (his conviction) was based on is still valid.”