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In re Troy Anthony Davis
United States Supreme Court
557 U.S. 952 (2009)
In 1989, a jury convicted Troy Anthony Davis (defendant) of the murder of an off-duty police officer, Mark Allen MacPhail. Davis maintained his innocence throughout years of appeals. Ultimately, Davis presented seven affidavits in which key state witnesses recanted their trial testimonies, and he presented additional evidence that several people implicated the state’s main witness as the shooter. The Georgia Supreme Court denied Davis’s extraordinary motion for a new trial based on his innocence claim after analyzing the affidavits and concluding that the information in them probably would not have produced a different trial result. The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles denied Davis’s clemency application, noting that it heard all witnesses that Davis presented. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit also concluded that Davis did not present clear and convincing evidence that a jury would not have found him guilty if it had known of Davis’s proffered new evidence. However, the Eleventh Circuit also noted that no court ever conducted a hearing to assess the reliability of the affidavits Davis presented. Davis filed a petition for an original writ of habeas corpus in the United States Supreme Court pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 20.4.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning
Concurrence (Stevens, J.)
Dissent (Scalia, J.)
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