National AP News | WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

Death Row Inmate Presses For New Trial

ATLANTA (AP) _ Death row inmate Troy Davis gets a chance to press for a new trial today in arguments before the Georgia Supreme Court.

Defense attorneys will ask the court to grant Davis a new trial in light of testimony his lawyers say will prove his innocence and implicate another man in the 1989 murder of a Savannah police officer.

Prosecutors will argue the case is closed and new evidence cannot be considered.

The arguments will test a Georgia law that allows inmates to seek a new trial after exhausting other appeals. And it could force the court to stake a position in a long-standing debate over adopting statewide eyewitness identification standards.

Officer Mark MacPhail was shot while trying to help a homeless man who had been pistol-whipped in a parking lot next to a bus station where the the 27-year-old officer worked off-duty as a security guard.

Witnesses identified Davis as the shooter. A jury convicted him in 1991 and sentenced him to death. But Davis' lawyers say new evidence could exonerate their client and prove him a victim of mistaken identity.


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