Davis v. The State of Georgia: Sentencing and Appeals
Crj2200 Week 3 Assignment 2
In the case of The State of Georgia v. Troy Davis on the date of august 28, 1991 Troy Davis was claimed guilty by jury after two hours. Davis was guilty on the charge of murder, aggravated assault, having a firearm during the commission of a felony, as well as obstruction of justice. Davis was convicted by the superior court of Chatham County, Davis appealed these charges due to the possible capital crime punishment, but was affirmed due to evidence supporting aggravating circumstances against the police officer who was engaged in performing his duties, and that the murder was horrible or outrages to reasonable people, on account of execution style shooting. Overall this case was appealed three times overall across several years finally ending in his death penalty being carried out by lethal injection. During the original trial in 1991, Davis originally denied shooting a person earlier in the day as well as shooting the officer. Davis testified that his friend assaulted the first person and the Davis himself fled well before there were any guns used and did not know who shot either person. During the sentencing of the first trial Davis and his three of his family members testified for Davis. In the final statement to the jury Davis said “spare my life. Just give me a second chance. That’s all I ask.” Davis told the jurors he didn’t commit the crimes they convicted him for. Unfortunately the officer family and friends were not allowed to testify for the prosecution. If the officer was still alive then I believe this would have been a non-capital punishment since murder would be taken off the list. And most likely he would have been able to testify about who shot him and what he saw happen that night. In the end it might have ended up as an attempted murder charge, or if he returned fire then the case could possibly not exist if Davis died from the officers returned fire. Before sentencing was handed out the judge received and PSI or presentence investigation report to review the history of defendant Davis. This report would have most likely been written and put together by a probation officer from the court system. The report would have Davis’s criminal history, any past rehabilitation attempts or jail time served, his education and employment history, and any other evidence that would give the judge an idea of Davis’s effect or danger he would pose to the public and or society. This report would also include a victim impartment statement from the officers family if they were allowed to make a statement but they were not, and I’m not sure why. The report also included Davis’s statements and any last efforts to convince the judge to be lenient with his decisions. With the PSI report the judge was able to determine the appropriate sentence for the crimes and in this case the judged affirmed the jury’s recommendation of the death penalty. The appeal process in the Davis case was pretty involved with the swap of layers for Davis’s defense. After being convicted and sentenced to death the case was automatically appealed to the Georgia Supreme Court. Davis and his new lawyers fought to obtain a retrial or a new trial claiming that during the original case the site of the trial as well as the selection of the jury were biased, and used unfairly against Davis. His request for the retrial was denied in 1992. The Georgia Supreme Court upheld the conviction and sentencing in Davis v. Texas, citing that the judge’s refusal to change trial location and the racial makeup of the jury didn’t deny Davis rights in any way. A third appeal was put forth by the same lawyers in 2003 to the U.S. Supreme Court which is the final and highest level court system in the Untitled States. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal in November of 1993 and the limit for Davis’s appeals was reached. In 1994...
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