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Troy Davis execution nears: What options remain for a reprieve?

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Mr. Barket contrasts the global outpouring of support for Davis versus the lack of public outrage over the scheduled execution in Texas Wednesday of Lawrence Brewer, who was sent to death row after being convicted of chaining a black man, James Byrd, to the back of a pickup and dragging him to death near Jasper, Texas. Barket says the Texas case was an example of how the justice system should work.

On the other side of the debate, the original prosecutor in the Davis case, Spencer Lawton, says Davis's claims of innocence have been "manufactured" to raise sympathy and put public pressure on the courts. "A police officer was murdered," he told a Georgia TV station. "The consequences that derive from that fact can't be happy."

Indeed, doubts about Davis's guilt have been heard by myriad appeals courts and an unusual Supreme Court-ordered hearing in Georgia last year, all of which have come to the same conclusion: New developments notwithstanding, the verdict stands.

"He's never been able to prove his innocence," says Russell Covey, a law professor at Georgia State University, in Atlanta.

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