Catholic World News News Feature
Georgia death-row convict granted stay after Vatican intervenes July 23, 2007
Church officials in Georgia have expressed some relief, but remain concerned about the fate of a prisoner who was granted a temporary stay of execution last week, as the Vatican intervened to ask for clemency.
Troy Anthony Davis, who was convicted of killing a police office in 1989, was scheduled to die of lethal injection on July 17. The execution was stayed for up to 90 days, on orders from the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, because some witnesses in the case have recanted their testimony.
The stay of execution was announced on the same day that Georgia's Governor Sonny Perdue received a letter from the apostolic nunciature in Washington, asking for clemency in the name of Pope Benedict XVI. Msgr. Martin Krebs, who signed the letter, observed that the Pope "continually exhorts all people, and especially those men and women who serve in government, to recognize the sacredness of all human life." He urged the governor to commute the convict's death sentence, leaving Davis to serve a life sentence.