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Though Davis has counted Amnesty International, Pope Benedict XVI, former president Jimmy Carter, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former FBI director William Sessions and most recently, hip-hop luminaries like Russell Simmons, Big Boi, Bun B and Diddy as advocates, he was executed by the State of Georgia at 11:08PM last night, despite a temporary delay. He was 42 years old.
In 1991, Davis was convicted of the Aug. 19, 1989 murder of Officer Mark McPhails in Savannah, Ga. McPhails was shot twice during an altercation in a Burger King parking lot, while off-duty. For the past two decades, Davis has maintained his innocence, making several appeals, and receiving three stays to his execution, after several of the witnesses in his case recanted their testimony. Sadly, in August 2010, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia ultimately upheld the conviction, rejecting all further appeals, sealing his death sentence.
On hand to protest Davis' execution, Big Boi told MTV via Skype, "The best thing to do is you gotta pray," shortly before the lethal injection was administered. "Anything is possible; we're looking for a miracle right now."
"Just remember we fought til the very end....peace and Blessings," the OutKast rapper tweeted after the announcement was made. "Dear Georgia, we don't know if Troy Davis killed a man. Neither do you. But we know you killed Troy Davis."
"RIP Troy Davis and Mark McPhail. Prayers for both of their families. And yours and mines as well," tweeted Bun B. "This nation has hundreds of cases that demand attention. Don't stop fighting for justice just because so-and-so doesn't tweet tomorrow."
Meanwhile, hip-hop pioneer Russell Simmons implored his followers to react non-violently to Davis' execution. "Although we're disheartened by decision of Supreme Court about Troy Davis, PLEASE do not react with any sort of violence," he tweeted. "I think executions should be broadcast live on television. Let us see the barbarianism that we've sanctioned."
Others, including Diddy, tweeted Davis' last words to the prison officials who administered his lethal injection.
"May God have mercy on your souls" Davis reportedly said. "May God bless your souls.'"
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