Mark MacPhail was murdered. The body of the white police officer was found fatally shot in Savannah, Georgia on August 19, 1989. Black and poor, Troy Anthony Davis was convicted of the murder and sentenced to death. Many people believe Davis innocent. In 2009 the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the District Court in Savannah to grant Davis an evidentiary hearing. Davis was found “not innocent.” Post-conviction, “not innocent” is a complex signifier. In this case it was constructed by the District Court through four interpretive lenses: Georgia's relation to the death penalty, the Anti-terrorism Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA), Supreme Court rulings, and the District Court's subjective imaginary. As each of these interpretive lenses is imbued with racism, the question of whether Georgia will execute an innocent man becomes starkly real. In this paper, I examine the post-conviction construction of “not innocent” as it relates to the Troy Davis case.
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