Davis was convicted in 1991 of fatally shooting off-duty police officer Mark MacPhail, despite prosecutors failing to find a murder weapon or any physical evidence linking him to the crime.
His lawyers maintained their client is a victim of mistaken identity and celebrity supporters, including Davis’ family friend Big Boi, hip-hop mogul Russell Simons and Salman Rushdie, all spoke out to urge authorities in Georgia to stop the execution, which was scheduled for 7pm local time on Wednesday night (21Sep11).
The execution was delayed following a string of last minute appeals, but after several hours of deliberations, Davis was put to death by lethal injection.
A witness to the execution revealed that Davis “went very quietly” and maintained his innocence to the bitter end, telling the MacPhail family “to dig deeper into this case to find out the truth”.
A host of celebrities who have been following the case subsequently bombarded Twitter.com with complaints over the execution.
Farrow writes, “‘To those who are about to take my life, may God have mercy on your souls. May God bless your souls’. – Troy Davis’ last words… I love my country but tonight we can only be stunned, saddened, disgusted and deeply ashamed.”
Baldwin adds, “For all you blood-thirsty right wing trash out there tonight. The point is he may have been innocent. Ya (sic) get it now? Every sensible American is appalled when (a) police officer is killed. But the attendant charges are grave. U (sic) don’t want 2 (sic) kill an innocent man.”
Other stars to weigh in on the debate include Soulja Boy, who writes, “RIP Troy Davis… that s**t crazy”, while Simmons is pleading with those outraged with the decision to not retaliate in anger: “Although we’re disheartened by decision of Supreme Court about Troy Davis, PLEASE do not react with any sort of violence”.