Troy Davis was scheduled to be killed by the state of Georgia on September 21 at 7:00pm. But as the clock struck seven, the lethal injection was not being administered. Mr. Davis was still in his cell. He was still alive.
He was also asleep:
After a long day of emotional goodbyes, Troy Davis knelt in his prison cell and began to pray 15 minutes before he was scheduled to die. Then a guard spotted him doing something less expected: He was sleeping…
…as his 7 p.m. scheduled execution time came and went during a late appeal, guards caught Davis taking an hour-long nap.
Those details from Mr. Davis’ last hours, as he waited for the U.S. Supreme Court to decide his fate, come courtesy of today’s report by The Associated Press. (Another thorough account of that night’s events, including his execution, was done by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. You can read that here.)
Some believe the death of Mr. Davis, whose 1989 murder conviction was shrouded by a massive amount of doubt, will be a tipping point in the American debate about capital punishment. As such, it’s important to get the details of the story correct, down to the last minute.
You can find another excerpt from the report after the jump.
Death watch began at 7 a.m. on Sept. 20, a day he spent meeting with visitors, watching TV and talking to his attorneys. A nurse brought him a fish oil pill and other unspecified medications around 9:20 p.m. and he was asleep within half an hour.
He awoke the next morning and refused his breakfast tray. He stayed in bed until about 7:50 a.m. when he was strip-searched and escorted to the shower. The prison warden met with him a few minutes after he finished shaving, and the first of his 28 visitors came to see him at that morning.
He turned down his lunch at noon and, after the last visitor left about six hours later, refused to eat an early dinner, requesting only the grape drink on the tray. Guards spotted him praying around 6:45, and 15 minutes later, when his execution was scheduled to begin, he was napping. He awoke an hour later, called his attorney for an update and asked the guards to bring in some food. He spent the next few hours on and off the phone with his lawyer awaiting news on his fate.
He probably heard that the Supreme Court denied his request for a last-minute stay shortly before guards came into the room at 10:28. A few minutes later, he was strapped to the gurney and execution witnesses started filing in. It was over at 11:08, when authorities pronounced him dead and cleared the death chamber.