Death Penalty Case in Georgia – updated

UPDATED BELOW

Prayer Request

This evening, the fate of Troy Davis, convicted of killing officer Mark MacPhail in Savannah in 1989, is in the hands of the United States Supreme Court.

The bishops of the Catholic Church in Georgia sent a letter this past Monday to the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles asking that the death sentence be reconsidered.

This week saw final appeals for clemency rejected by authorities in Georgia.

Although the case has been upheld at every legal turn, there is also what can only be described as significant doubt outside the courts as to the guilt of Mr. Davis. This includes the recanting of testimony by many key witnesses. In addition to the Georgia bishops, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported, “Calls for Davis to be spared execution have been made by numerous dignitaries, including former President Jimmy Carter, Pope Benedict XVI, former FBI Director William Sessions, former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Norman Fletcher and Larry Thompson, the former deputy U.S. attorney general.”

Please pray that this execution set aside. And in your mercy, pray for all parties involved on both sides including Officer MacPhail and his family and Troy Davis and his family.

UPDATED 10:18pm ET

It is reported that the US Supreme Court has rejected the final appeal to stay the execution.

UPDATED 11:30pm ET

Troy Davis declared dead at 11:08pm ET

It is difficult for me to understand how the judicial system did not conclude that there was sufficient evidence to look further into this case, particularly with the death sentence involved. No, I am not a lawyer and am not skilled or knowledgeable in these matters. However, I am a human being and this just does not sit right. Even if there were insufficient evidence to overturn the conviction, surely there was sufficient cause to set aside the execution. I would feel the same even if I were not opposed to capital punishment.

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About the Author

Deacon Mike Bickerstaff Editor-In-Chief, ICL

Deacon Michael Bickerstaff is the Editor in chief and co-founder of the The Integrated Catholic Life.™ A Catholic Deacon of the Roman Rite for the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Deacon Bickerstaff is assigned to St. Peter Chanel Catholic Church where he is the Director of Adult Education and Evangelization.

He is also the Founder and President of Virtue@Work, where he provides Executive and Personal Coaching, Mentoring and Organizational Consulting. Deacon Mike has 30+ years management consulting experience in senior executive leadership positions providing organizational planning and implementation services with a focus on human resource strategy and tax qualified retirement plan design, administration and compliance.

He is a co-founder of the successful annual Atlanta Catholic Business Conference; the Chaplain of the Atlanta Chapter of the Woodstock Theological Center’s Business Conference; and Chaplain of the St. Peter Chanel Faith at Work Business Association and co-founder and Chaplain of the Marriages Are Covenants Ministry, both of which serve as models for similar parish-based ministries.

He and his wife have two married children and three grandchildren.

NB: The views I express on this site are my own. I am not an official spokesman for either my parish or diocese.

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