NEW VOICES: Executing Troy Davis Would Be "Unconscionable and Unconstitutional"
Former Congressman Bob Barr of Georgia has called for a full court hearing on the new evidence offered by death row inmate Troy Davis regarding his possible innocence. Davis's attorneys have submitted a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court requesting such a hearing. Barr noted that part of the basis the lower courts have used in refusing to hold a hearing is the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, a law that he helped write. Barr, who also served as a U.S. Attorney in Georgia, wrote in an op-ed in the New York Times that, “There is no abuse of government power more egregious than executing an innocent man. But that is exactly what may happen if the United States Supreme Court fails to intervene on behalf of Troy Davis.” Barr continued, “This threat of injustice has come about because the lower courts have misread the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, a law I helped write when I was in Congress.” He emphasized, “But nothing in the statute should have left the courts with the impression that they were barred from hearing claims of actual innocence like Troy Davis’s.” The full op-ed may be found at Death Penalty Info dot org here