About 10 people supporting convicted killer Troy Anthony Davis gathered on the Columbus Government Center's north side Thursday for a rally organized by the NAACP.
There to speak to reporters were Georgia State Conference NAACP President Edward DuBose and Columbus NAACP Branch President Marcus Hunter.
DuBose said seven of nine people who testified against Davis when he was tried for killing a Savannah police officer in 1989 have recanted their testimony. The officer, Mark Allen MacPhail, 27, a former Army Ranger and a graduate of Columbus High School, was working as a security guard at a Savannah bus station when he came to the aid of a homeless man who was being assaulted. MacPhail was shot three times before he could draw his gun.
Davis was convicted in 1991. Fresh doubts about his guilt have prompted world leaders like former President Jimmy Carter and South Africa Archbishop Desmond Tutu to support to the death-row inmate's cause.
With Davis' appeals running out, the NAACP is instructing supporters to ask Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue to intervene, and to urge Savannah District Attorney Larry Chisholm to reopen the case. It also has a new Web site, www.iamtroy.com, people can visit.
Davis' scheduled execution twice has been stayed. He has appealed once more to the U.S. Supreme Court, which had yet to rule Thursday.
Among those opposed to any further delay in Davis' execution is Randy Robertson, vice president of the Georgia Fraternal Order of Police. He said the case against Davis relies on more than witness testimony. For example, shell casings showed a gun used in an earlier shooting to which Davis was connected matched casings found at the scene of MacPhail's murder, he said. Robertson noted also that numerous judges have reviewed the evidence against Davis and found no reason sufficient to overturn his conviction.