ATLANTA – 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.
Documents obtained by The Associated Press provide a glimpse into the last moments of Davis’ life before he was executed Sept. 21 for the murder of an off-duty Savannah officer. At one point, Davis vowed to fast and refused several prison meals, but as the night dragged on he asked for food. And as his 7 p.m. scheduled execution time came and went during a late appeal, guards caught Davis taking an hour-long nap.
Davis’ execution for the murder of Mark MacPhail was the center of an international outcry from supporters who said he was the victim of mistaken identity. Prosecutors and MacPhail’s family said they were certain Davis was guilty and that justice was served.
The documents were obtained through an Open Records request. Prison officials also provided an audio recording and transcript of his last words, which he used to again proclaim his innocence and urge his supporters to “continue to fight this fight.”
Davis was no stranger to execution dates. The state had tried three other times to execute him since 2007 and each time it was delayed. One of the executions was called off less than two hours before Davis was to die. He was notified of the fourth attempt on Sept. 7, and a day later he was asked to make a last meal request. He scrawled a response in big letters: “None. Will Be Fasting!”
But he began quietly making arrangements in case the execution went forward. He sent prison officials the names of dozens of visitors — a list of 28 for each of his final two days. When he accidentally misspelled a name, he scribbled a note to an administrator with a correction, ending it with “God Bless You.” And he sent an undisclosed sum of money from his personal prison account to a relative, describing it only as a “family gift.”
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