[Deathpenalty] death penalty news------GEORGIA
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Sat Jul 21 21:12:58 CDT 2007
Perdue says pope won't sway him in Davis case
Gov. Sonny Perdue said today he doesn't see his role as getting involved
in the Troy Davis execution despite a request from the pope.
Davis is awaiting the outcome of a 90-day stay granted Monday as the
Pardons and Parole Board considers evidence that many of the witnesses who
testified against him have recanted in the 18 years since a Savannah
off-duty police officer was shot to death.
Perdue was talking by phone with three newspaper reporters between
meetings at the National Governors Association conference in Michigan.
Asked about a letter he received Monday from Pope Benedict's American
representative, Perdue said his role was limited to appointing good people
to the Parole Board.
"I do believe that we have some good people appointed to the board and
will trust them," he said.
Georgia is 1 of 3 states in which governors have no authority to grant
clemency, a power shifted to the Parole Board by voters in 1943.
Perdue rejects the idea of using his influence either publicly or
privately to sway the board's thinking. And he refused to comment on
whether or not he believes Davis is innocent, despite comments from the
pope, Hollywood celebrities and Amnesty International.
"I am always glad to hear from the pope," Perdue said. "He and I have a
different world view."
The governor favors death sentences while the pope doesn't. "I believe in
capital punishment, but I believe the worst thing we could do is put an
innocent person to death," he said. "...(But) I don't think we ought to be
moved by people who believe in capital punishment or people who don't
believe in capital punishment."
Perdue's staff forwarded the letter to the Parole Board on Wednesday, a
day after Davis was scheduled to receive a lethal injection.
(source: Morris News Service)
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