The high profile case took a turn for the bad as the plea for Troy Davis’ clemency was denied by the parole board. The ruling now puts Davis a day closer to facing execution for the 1989 murder of an off-duty Georgia police officer.

via AJC:

Officer MacPhail, a 27-year-old former Army Ranger, was moonlighting on a security detail when he ran to help a homeless man, who had cried out because he was being pistol whipped. MacPhail was shot three times before he could draw his handgun.

While some states give the governor the authority to commute a sentence of someone about to be executed that is not the case in Georgia; that power lies with the parole board. Three years ago, the board declined to commute Davis’ death sentence to life with or without parole, but it has three new members since that decision.

Over the past decade, the board has commuted three death sentences — Alexander Williams in 2002, James Willie Hall in 2004 and Samuel Crowe in 2008.

Among witnesses to testify on Davis’ behalf was Brenda Forrest, a juror who voted to sentence Davis to death at the 1991 trial. She now says she has too much doubt about her verdict and is asking the board to grant clemency. Two other jurors who voted to sentence Davis to death have signed affidavits asking the board to spare Davis from execution.

Also testifying before the board was Quiana Glover, a Savannah woman who says that she heard Sylvester “Redd” Coles, who was with Davis shortly before MacPhail was killed, say he was the actual killer. Coles made the statement during a party in June 2009 when he had been drinking heavily, Glover said in a sworn affidavit.

Coles, the first to implicate Davis to the police, testified at trial that he left the scene before shots were fired.

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. Davis’ advocates, including Amnesty International and the NAACP, have used social media to rally worldwide support. Last week, Davis’ supporters presented the parole board with the names of more than 663,000 people asking that Davis be granted clemency.

This is the fourth time the state of Georgia has set an execution date for Davis. On three prior occasions, he was granted stays — twice just hours before his execution was to be carried out.

On one occasion, the U.S. Supreme Court stepped in and ordered an extraordinary hearing, giving Davis the chance to clearly establish he was an innocent man. But a Savannah judge, after hearing two days of testimony, ultimately ruled that while Davis’ new evidence “cast some additional, minimal doubt on his conviction, it is largely smoke and mirrors.”

To read the full story, visit the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.

RELATED: Will There Be Justice For Troy Davis?

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