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The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights  & The Leadership Conference Education Fund
The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

Supreme Court Delays Decision on Hearing Troy Davis Case

July 10, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference

Black men holding up pictures of Troy Davis face

"I Am Troy Davis," in which supporters hold a picture of Davis in front of their face to symbolize the criminal justice system's disparate treatment of Black men.  October 26, 2008, in Atlanta, Ga. Photo Credit: World Coalition Against the Death Penalty.

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court delayed deciding if it would hear a case that could grant Troy Davis a new trial until the Court reconvenes in the fall. 

Davis is a Georgia death row inmate who has insisted since his 1991 trial that he is innocent of the murder of police officer.  His case has drawn international criticism from world leaders, including the European Parliament, Desmond Tutu, and Pope Benedict, who point to new evidence suggesting that Troy Davis could be innocent.   

The Supreme Court granted Davis a stay of execution on September 23, 2008, but refused to hear the case requesting a new trial.  The Court referred the case back to a lower Georgia court, which refused Davis a retrial but granted a 30-day stay of execution to permit Davis' lawyers time to petition the Supreme Court again.  The Supreme Court's delay will likely keep the state of Georgia from setting a date for execution.

"The execution of a likely innocent man must not proceed, and we are thankful the Court has put the brakes on Troy's execution," said Benjamin T. Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP.

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