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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

  • Supreme Court Orders Evidentiary Hearing for Death Row Prisoner Troy Anthony Davis; Rare Decision Could Result in New Trial

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    The Supreme Court has taken the rare step of ordering a new hearing for Georgia death row prisoner Troy Anthony Davis. The nation’s highest court ordered a federal district court in Georgia to "receive testimony and make findings of fact as to whether evidence that could not have been obtained at the time of trial clearly establishes his innocence." Davis was convicted for the 1989 killing of a white police officer. Since then, seven of the nine non-police witnesses have recanted their testimony, and there is no physical evidence tying him to the crime scene. In a Democracy Now! special, we hear from Davis, speaking from death row; Davis’s fifteen-year-old nephew Antone, and his sister Martina Correia, who have led the campaign to exonerate him; Laura Moye of Amnesty International USA; and Ezekiel Edwards, a staff attorney at the Innocence Project. [includes rush transcript]

  • Texas Judge on Trial for Refusing to Hear Appeal Hours Before Death Row Prisoner’s Execution

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    The presiding judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is on trial for misconduct for refusing to hear a last-minute appeal from a death row prisoner scheduled to be executed that night. Judge Sharon Keller, dubbed "Sharon Killer" by her critics, reportedly denied an appeal from the lawyers for Michael Wayne Richard at 5:20 pm on September 25th, 2007, saying, "We close at five." Richard was killed later that night by lethal injection. Keller faces five charges of judicial misconduct and could be removed from the bench. [includes rush transcript]

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