02-27-2021  7:52 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
I-5 Rose Quarter Project Open House
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NORTHWEST NEWS

All Oregonians Eligible for the COVID-19 Vaccine by July 1

People who are 45 to 64 with underlying health conditions will be eligible starting March 29

City Permanently Cuts Funds to Portland Neighborhood Group

Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who oversees the city’s civic life bureau, opted to remove funding from Southwest Neighborhoods Inc. after an audit found that money had been mismanaged.

Black Restaurant Week Comes to Portland

National event highlights Black-owned restaurants, cafes, and food trucks, creates countrywide database to support Black businesses

Portland Police Launch Team to Investigate Shootings

 The Enhanced Community Safety Team will be comprised of three sergeants, 12 officers and six detectives, and will staff a seven-member on-call unit to respond to shooting scenes, examine evidence, interview witnesses and do immediate follow-up investigations

NEWS BRIEFS

Senators Markey, Smith, and Booker and Rep. Jackson Lee Re-introduce Legislation to Make Juneteenth a National Holiday

“Juneteenth,” observed on June 19, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States ...

HB 1465, To Increase the Death Tax Rate in Washington State To 40%

The Washington Policy Center's Vice President for Research, Paul Guppy today released a study on the bill ...

Seattle Black Artist To Be Featured in Amazon Prime Series

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NIKE, Inc. and Goalsetter Partner to Increase Financial Literacy Among America’s Youth

Goalsetter uses digital platforms to engage youth and help them better understand financial well-being, while saving for their future ...

Six Trailblazing Black Judges to Discuss Overcoming Challenges Feb. 26

The online program panel judges include Justice Adrienne Nelson, the first Black justice of the Oregon Supreme Court and the first...

Hotel fined for overcharging people during wildfire

ROSEBURG, ORe. (AP) — A hotel in Roseburg, Oregon, has been fined ,000 for overcharging dozens of area residents who sought rooms after fleeing a large wildfire in September.The News-Review reports SUBH Investment LLC, which does business as Days Inn by Wyndham in Roseburg, entered into...

Grazing rights rescinded for controversial Oregon ranchers

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A senior adviser in the U.S. Department of Interior on Friday rescinded a January Trump administration decision to grant grazing allotments to an Oregon ranching family whose members were convicted of arson in a court battle that triggered the takeover of a federal...

Ex-Cardinals coach Wilks new defensive coordinator at Mizzou

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Steve Wilks is returning to coaching as the defensive coordinator at Missouri.Wilks, who was hired by Tigers coach Eli Drinkwitz on Thursday, took last year off after spending the previous 14 seasons in the NFL. The stint was highlighted by a year as the head coach of...

OPINION

Democracy and White Privilege

“White Nationalists” who believe that America only belongs to its “White” citizens, who live and have lived according to “White Privilege” are ignoring the words of the Declaration of Independence ...

The Leadership Conference Submits Letter in Support of H.R. 40

H.R. 40 finally forces the U.S. government to recognize and make amends for the decades of economic enrichment that have benefited this nation as a result of the free labor that African slaves were forced to provide ...

Letter to the Editor Re: Zenith Energy

The time is now for Portland City Council to stop Zenith Energy’s transporting fossil fuels into and out of our city. ...

The Heroes Within Us

Black History Month, as it exists today, continues the practice of “othering” Black people in America. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Analysis: Biden ambitions run into reality of Senate's rules

WASHINGTON (AP) — The early ambitions of Joe Biden's presidency are quickly running into the guardrails of archaic Senate rules, testing his willingness to remake an institution he reveres to fulfill many of the promises he has made to Americans. It's a wonky, Washington dilemma with...

New Orleans move to vacate 22 non-unanimous jury convictions

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Prosecutors in New Orleans moved Friday to have convictions overturned for 22 people found guilty of felonies by non-unanimous juries, and to review hundreds of other such convictions obtained under a law with roots in the Jim Crow era. District Attorney Jason Williams,...

Oregon high court affirms juries can acquit in split votes

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Supreme Court, ruling before the start of a murder case, has upheld that a defendant can be acquitted by a nonunanimous verdict, months after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that guilty verdicts must be unanimous.The decision Thursday keeps Oregon as the only state...

ENTERTAINMENT

Tonywatch: Playwright Katori Hall 'reaching for humanity'

NEW YORK (AP) — Most playwrights who dip their toes into musical theater for the first time go small. Not Katori Hall: Her first assignment was to capture the life of a musical giant — Tina Turner.“I’m not really scared of much, which is probably why I felt like...

Laying out data, Netflix touts its record on inclusivity

NEW YORK (AP) — Netflix on Friday released a study it commissioned from top academic researchers that shows the streaming giant is outpacing much of the film industry in the inclusivity of its original films and television series.For years, academic studies have sought to capture...

Black News Channel reloads with talk focus, morning show

NEW YORK (AP) — Four hours of morning television is a lot of time to fill, but new Black News Channel hosts Mike Hill and Sharon Reed don't expect to run out of things to say.Their new program, which debuts Monday at 6 a.m. Eastern, is the centerpiece of Black News Channel's relaunch to...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

LeBron James rejects Zlatan's criticism of activist athletes

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Texas jail inmates hungry, shivering during unusual freeze

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Trump the dominant force at conservative conference

WASHINGTON (AP) — A conference dedicated to the future of the conservative movement turned into an ode to...

EXPLAINER: How US airstrike in Syria sends message to Iran

BEIRUT (AP) — A U.S. airstrike targeting facilities used by Iran-backed militias in Syria appears to be a...

The Latest: Virus sidelines most Toronto Raptors coaches

TAMPA, Fla. — The Toronto Raptors played without most of their coaching staff and one player on Friday...

Experts notice pandemic's mental health toll on German youth

BERLIN (AP) — Pollina Dinner returned to school in Berlin for the first time this week after two months of...

I-5 Rose Quarter Project Open House 2
Greg Bluestein the Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) -- With less than half a day left to live, Troy Davis' supporters in the U.S. and Europe were trying just about anything Wednesday to win his clemency for killing a Georgia policeman, a crime he and others have insisted for years that he did not commit.

Supporters planned vigils around the world. They'll be outside Georgia's death row prison in Jackson and at U.S. embassies in Europe.

The 42-year-old's most realistic, though slim, chance for reprieve is through the courts, and his lawyers are trying. His backers also have resorted to far-fetched measures: offering for Davis to take a polygraph test, urging prison workers to strike or call in sick, posting a judge's phone number online, urging people to call and ask him to put a stop to the 7 p.m. execution. They've even considered a desperate appeal for White House intervention.

Supporters include former President Jimmy Carter, Pope Benedict XVI and a former FBI director, the NAACP, as well as conservative figures. The U.S. Supreme Court even gave him an unusual opportunity to prove his innocence last year.

Still, prosecutors have backed the guilty verdict and state and federal courts have repeatedly upheld his conviction for killing Savannah officer Mark MacPhail in 1989. Several judges have listened to recanted testimony from witnesses and to jurors who say they would change their verdicts, knowing the facts revealed later.

MacPhail was off-duty working security at a bus station on Aug. 19, 1989, and rushed to the aid of Larry Young, a homeless man that prosecutors say Davis was bashing with a handgun after asking him for a beer. When MacPhail got there, they say Davis had a smirk on his face as he shot the officer to death in a Burger King parking lot. Others have claimed the man with him that night has said he actually shot the 27-year-old officer.

As time ticked toward the execution, an upbeat and prayerful Davis turned down a last meal and planned to spend his final hours meeting with friends, family and supporters. Meanwhile, two attempts to prove his innocence were rejected: a polygraph test and another hearing before the pardons board.

His attorney Stephen Marsh said Davis would only submit to a polygraph test if pardons officials would consider it.

"He doesn't want to spend three hours away from his family on what could be the last day of his life if it won't make any difference," Marsh said.

His lawyers, meanwhile, are trying the legal avenues left to them, filing a motion in a county court challenging the ballistics evidence and eyewitness testimony. A judge could at least delay the execution, which has happened three times before. Most believe arguments on the merits of the case have been exhausted, however.

President Barack Obama also could ask the Justice Department to look at the case, but the NAACP has yet to make that request and legal experts have said it's unlikely he'd step in.

In Savannah, 16 Davis supporters gathered at the Chatham County courthouse to press District Attorney Larry Chisolm to help stop Davis' execution. They said 240,000 people had signed petitions urging the state to spare Davis' life, and delivered them in three large boxes to Chisolm's courthouse office where they were received by a member of the prosecutor's staff. Chisolm has said he's powerless to intervene, but activists say they believe he has enough influence as district attorney to sway the outcome.

As for the new and changed accounts by some witnesses, a federal judge dismissed them, saying that while the "new evidence casts some additional, minimal doubt on his conviction, it is largely smoke and mirrors" after a hearing Davis was granted last year to argue for a new trial to the U.S. Supreme Court, the first time justices had considered it for a death row inmate in at least 50 years. It failed.

Prosecutors have no doubt they charged the right person, and MacPhail's family lobbied the pardons board Monday to reject Davis' clemency appeal. The board refused to stop the execution a day later.

"He has had ample time to prove his innocence," said MacPhail's widow, Joan MacPhail-Harris. "And he is not innocent."

In Europe, where the planned execution has drawn widespread criticism, politicians and activists were making a last-minute appeal to the state of Georgia to refrain from executing Davis. Amnesty International and other groups planned a protest outside the U.S. Embassy in Paris later Wednesday and Amnesty also called a vigil outside the U.S. Embassy in London.

Parliamentarians and government ministers from the Council of Europe, the continent's human rights watchdog, called for Davis' sentence to be commuted. Renate Wohlwend of the Council's Parliamentary Assembly said that "to carry out this irrevocable act now would be a terrible mistake which could lead to a tragic injustice."

The U.S. Supreme Court gave him an unusual opportunity to prove his innocence last year, but his attorneys failed to convince a judge he didn't do it. State and federal courts have repeatedly upheld his conviction.

Spencer Lawton, the district attorney who secured Davis' conviction in 1991, said he was embarrassed for the judicial system that the execution has taken so long.

"What we have had is a manufactured appearance of doubt which has taken on the quality of legitimate doubt itself. And all of it is exquisitely unfair," said Lawton, who retired as Chatham County's head prosecutor in 2008. "The good news is we live in a civilized society where questions like this are decided based on fact in open and transparent courts of law, and not on street corners."

The motion filed in Butts County Court disputes testimony from a ballistics examiner who claimed that the bullets fired in a previous shooting that Davis was convicted of may have come from the same gun that fired at MacPhail. And it challenged eyewitness testimony from Harriet Murray, a witness who claimed at the trial to have identified Davis as the shooter.

It asks the court to vacate Davis' execution, or at least delay it by 90 days, on grounds that it was "based on false, misleading and materially inaccurate evidence."

Witnesses placed Davis at the crime scene and identified him as the shooter. Shell casings were linked to an earlier shooting that Davis was convicted of. There was no other physical evidence. No blood or DNA tied Davis to the crime and the weapon was never found.

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Follow Bluestein at http://www.twitter.com/bluestein .
© 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

OTHER TROY DAVIS ARTICLES
Is Troy Davis Another Horrific Example of Innocent Execution?
Carter: Execution Exposes Flaws in Death Penalty
The Troy Davis Execution: Latest News, Video, Action Center and Links


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