Troy Anthony Davis was convicted of the August 19, 1989, murder of white police officer Mark MacPhail. In 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered that an evidentiary hearing be conducted to examine alleged recantations by trial witnesses and determine if clear and convincing evidence existed to prove Davis' innocence.
On August 24, 2010, the conviction was upheld, with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia declaring, "Davis is not innocent." Davis has been on death row in Georgia since 1991.
On September 19, 2011, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles heard appeals from the defendant in a final attempt to gain clemency in Davis' case. Despite hours of testimonies, the Board denied Davis' appeal and decided to follow through with an execution.