September 21, 2011

AJMLS Professor Michael Mears Gives Thoughts on Troy Davis Execution


Gaining national and international attention, the scheduled execution of Troy Davis for the killing of Savannah police officer, Mark MacPhail has created a media frenzy and raised many ethical, moral, and legal questions.

In the two decades since Davis was condemned for fatally shooting MacPhail, seven of the nine witnesses who testified against Davis at his trial have recanted their testimony.

Based on his vast experience with death penalty cases and trials, Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School professor Michael Mears was sought out by Georgia Public BroadcastingThe Atlanta Journal Constitution, and The Washington Post to give his expert opinion on the Troy Davis execution.

An excerpt from the GPB article quoting Mears states:

If the death sentence is carried out, Michael Mears of Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School says, it will be because the courts aren’t well-equipped to deal justly with recanted testimony.


“The courts want finality in these trials,” Mears says. “They don’t want these trials going on forever and ever. And that’s understandable. The problem in a death penalty case is if you don’t get it right, then someone’s going to die. And they’re going to die for a crime they might not have committed.”