Troy Davis was sentenced to death for murdering an off-duty police officer back in 1989. According to Barr, he was convicted only on the testimony of supposed eye-witnesses.
With no murder weapon, surveillance videotape or DNA evidence left behind, the jury that judged Mr. Davis had to weigh the conflicting testimony of several eyewitnesses to sift out the gunman from the onlookers who had nothing to do with the heinous crime.Now, seven out of nine of the witnesses have changed their story. But a law that Barr helped write has blocked Davis from bringing the new evidence of his innocence to light. In my opinion, the death penalty was inappropriate in this case from the beginning. Imposition of the death penalty should only be done in cases where guilt is clear: a positive DNA match, a criminal literally caught in the act, an un-coerced confession, a criminal openly bragging about the crime, etc. In these types of situations I am all for swift executions and limited appeals.
But testimony of witnesses who don't even all agree is simply not reliable enough to send someone to his death. How many times do witnesses change their stories? Davis should never have been sentenced to death. Hopefully the Supreme Court will intervene and prevent a possibly innocent man from being executed.
Check the comments for the other side and more detail about the case.