GEORGIA(USA) TROY DAVIS EXECUTED
|Death row inmate Troy Davis
September 21, 2011: Troy Davis has been executed in Georgia, despite a plea for clemency from almost a million people worldwide.
Davis, 42, black, 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.
His death was marked by last-minute drama when Georgia officials delayed the execution by an excruciating 3Â˝ hours as they awaited a final ruling by the US Supreme Court. Davis had been about to be strapped to a gurney to be injected, as state witnesses assembled to view his execution, when the schedule was interrupted. But the court ultimately denied him a reprieve.
As many as 700 demonstrators gathered outside the prison in Jackson. They fell into despair once the decision was known. About 10 counterdemonstrators also were outside the prison, showing support for the death penalty.
Davis was convicted of the 1989 shooting of policeman Mark MacPhail. The extraordinary legal case has put America's death penalty in an uncomfortable spotlight. Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide pleaded for clemency in the wake of a series of court appeals and with seven of nine witnesses having recanted their original testimony, some claiming to have been coerced by police. No weapon, DNA evidence or surveillance footage was found to link Davis to the crime. Petitioners had included Pope Benedict, Nobel peace laureates Jimmy Carter and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a former FBI director and at least 40 members of the US Congress.
Davis's advocates had included Amnesty International and the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, as well as the Innocence Project, which has helped exonerate 17 death-row inmates through DNA testing.
President Barack Obama deflected calls for him to get involved.
A New York Times editorial called the execution "a grievous wrong". It said the failure of Georgia's Pardon and Parole Board to grant clemency was "appalling in the light of developments after Davis's conviction".
Earlier in the day, from Geneva, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns; the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Gabriela Knaul, and the Special Rapporteur on torture, Juan MĂŠndez, had called on the Government of the United States to stop the execution of Davis.
Davis becomes the 4th condemned inmate to be put to death this year in Georgia and the 52nd overall since the state resumed executions in 1983. Davis becomes the 35nd condemned inmate to be put to death this year in the USA and the 1269th overall since executions resumed on January 17, 1977. (Fonti: Foxnews.com, Ap, 21/09/2011)