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Death row inmate's rare chance to prove his innocence

Ben Jealous @ CNN - On Wednesday the saga of death row inmate Troy Anthony Davis will begin its last chapter. In an extremely rare ruling last summer, the United States Supreme Court ordered a federal judge in Georgia to grant Troy an evidentiary hearing to prove his innocence.

The ruling is unusual in that the Supreme Court has not granted this writ of habeas corpus in more than 50 years. Their decision is a strong indication that they are concerned about the constitutionality of executing the innocent -- as am I.

Although much work still must be done in our justice system to ensure the innocent do not pay the price of the guilty, the granting of this evidentiary hearing is a major step for Troy Davis and for many other likely innocent prisoners sitting on death row; Troy Davis will have an opportunity to tell his side of the story and new evidence will be considered in this nearly 20-year-old case.

The hearing will allow the testimony of witnesses who have recanted or contradicted their original eyewitness testimonies to be heard and examined in a court of law. At long last, the courts will hear critical testimony that they were prevented from hearing in the original trial. Read more.


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