tagged w/ Governor Nathan Deal
Troy Davis put to death in Georgia
By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 11:56 PM EST, Wed September 21, 2011
Davis case to become global 'scandal'
NEW: Inmate tells victim's family he was not guilty
Troy Davis put to death late Wednesday
U.S. Supreme Court denied stay of execution
The original prosecutor says the facts support Troy Davis' sentence
Jackson, Georgia (CNN) -- Troy Davis, whose case drew international attention, was put to death by lethal injection for the 1989 killing of an off-duty police officer in Savannah, Georgia, prison officials announced Wednesday night.
Davis was defiant to the very end. After he was strapped to the death gurney, he lifted his head to address the family of the slain officer.
He told the family of Mark MacPhail that he was not responsible for the officer's death and did not have a gun at the time, according to execution witnesses.
Davis said the case merited further investigation, talking fast as officials prepared to give him the lethal cocktail.
The execution followed the U.S. Supreme Court's rejection of a stay, allowing the state to proceed. Davis was declared dead at 11:08 p.m. ET.
Throughout the day, Davis' lawyers and high-profile supporters had asked the state and various courts to intervene, arguing he did not murder MacPhail in 1989.
Davis initially had been scheduled to die by lethal injection at 7 p.m. ET. But the proceeding was delayed more than three hours as the justices pondered a plea filed by his attorney.
Several hundred people, most of them opposing the proceeding, gathered outside the state prison in Jackson where Davis, 42, awaited his fate. Others held a vigil in a nearby church.
The inmate's sister, Martina Davis-Correia, was among those who held a vigil outside the prison. Before the U.S. Supreme Court's decision, she said officials needed to take more time to examine the case. "When you are looking at someone's life, you can't press rewind."
More than 100 officers, many in riot gear, stood guard over the largely-quiet gathering, which featured candles, occasional prayers and songs. At least three people who crossed the street had been taken away in handcuffs.
"Tonight the state of Georgia legally lynched an innocent man," Davis' lawyer Thomas Ruffin Jr. said. "Tonight I witnessed something tragic."
Davis' supporters, who also rallied outside the U.S. Supreme Court building, argued that his conviction was based on the testimony of numerous witnesses who had recanted, including a jailhouse informer who claimed Davis had confessed.
"There's a genuine feeling among people here and across the nation that we're about to do the unthinkable," said Isaac Newton Farris Jr., president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
But prosecutors have stood by the conviction, and every appeal -- including the last-minute petitions filed Wednesday -- has failed.
Davis's supporters cheered and hugged each other when news of the earlier delay reached them. But it did not sit well with McPhail's mother, who remained at home.