Troy Anthony Davis was executed five years ago in America among international controversy for the slaying of a police officer.
There was controversy over whether there was enough evidence to convict him. Many people, including Former FBI Director William Sessions, said there was not. And there was controversy over whether or not the death penalty was appropriate to a free nation in the 21st century. Put a man in jail, and if you made a mistake you can release him. Kill him and it’s over.
Most witnesses against him recanted; one of the two remaining allegedly said he, not Davis, was the killer of police officer Mark MacPhail in Savannah, Georgia, in 1991.
The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, passed in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing, made it much more difficult for a convicted person to get appeals. Proponents claim it makes it harder for the guilty to postpone their execution with appeals; opponents claim it makes it harder for the innocent to postpone their execution and to show their innocence.
It largely comes down to a matter of priorities over life: would we rather let the guilty postpone their death, or the innocent be killed?