The Supreme Court has rejected an eleventh-hour appeal from Troy Davis to prevent Georgia authorities from executing him for the murder of an off-duty police officer.
The court did not comment on its order late Wednesday, four hours after receiving the last-ditch request.
The filing by Davis' lawyers came after state officials refused to grant Davis a reprieve in the face of calls for clemency from former President Jimmy Carter, Pope Benedict XVI and others.
The high court previously granted Davis a stay of execution in 2008 and ordered a court hearing the following year to give Davis a chance to establish his innocence. A federal judge said Davis failed to do so, and the justices refused to review that finding.
New Yorkers Rallied for Stay of Execution
As the Supreme Court considered the appeal, New Yorkers rallied throughout the city in support of Davis, who was scheduled to be executed at 7 p.m.
At 125th Street in Harlem, Davis supporters gathered in a rally with signs and chants like "We are all Troy Davis" and "Stop the legal lynching of Troy Davis"
Dozens of marchers walked down 125th Street, at times blocking traffic.
"We're here because the execution of Troy Davis has to be stopped," said Tony Murphy of the International Action Center. "Anyone who knows anything about this case knows that he didn't do it. The fact that they're continuing forward with this exposes the racist character of the death penalty."
The Rev. Herbert Daughtry also led a 6 p.m. prayer service and vigil at the House of the Lord Church on Atlantic Avenue, featuring Lumumba Bandele of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Kevin Powell of BK Nation, and others.
Surging Rally Wednesday Against Execution
Davis' supporters had been trying increasingly frenzied measures, urging prison workers to stay home and even posting a judge's phone number online, hoping people will press him to put a stop to the 7 p.m. lethal injection.
He was convicted in 1991 of killing MacPhail, who was working as a security guard at the time. MacPhail rushed to the aid of a homeless man who prosecutors said Davis was bashing with a handgun after asking him for a beer. Prosecutors said Davis had a smirk on his face as he shot the officer to death in a Burger King parking lot in Savannah.
No gun was ever found, but prosecutors say shell casings were linked to an earlier shooting for which Davis was convicted.
Witnesses placed Davis at the crime scene and identified him as the shooter, but several of them have recanted their accounts and some jurors have said they've changed their minds about his guilt. Others have claimed a man who was with Davis that night has told people he actually shot the officer.
Davis' execution has been stopped three times since 2007, but on Wednesday the 42-year-old appeared to be out of legal options.
As his last hours ticked away, an upbeat and prayerful Davis turned down an offer for a special last meal as he met with friends, family and supporters.
Amnesty International says nearly 1 million people have signed a petition on Davis' behalf. His supporters include former President Jimmy Carter, Pope Benedict XVI, a former FBI director, the NAACP, along with artists Questlove and Big Boi.
"I'm trying to bring the word to the young people: There is too much doubt," Big Boi said at a church near the prison.
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