06-29-2022  2:19 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Sydney McLaughlin Does It Again, Breaks Own World Record

When asked how she was going to celebrated afterward, McLaughlin joked: “Eating some real food besides vegetables. Like a cheeseburger or something, some pancakes.”

Inslee Seeks Abortion Rights Amendment to State Constitution

Gov. Jay Inslee will push for a state constitutional amendment to protect abortion rights within the state, and laws that make it difficult for other states to investigate whether their own residents have visited Washington for abortion care.

Summer of Sound Celebrates Portland’s Black Jazz and Soul Legacy, Elders

The World Arts Foundation and Albina Music Trust put North Portland’s music history back onstage.

LIV Golf Heads to Oregon, Where Local Officials Aren't Happy

Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf is getting a chilly reception in Oregon, its first stop in the United States.

NEWS BRIEFS

KGW and TEGNA Foundation Award $40k in Community Grants to Aid Four Oregon Nonprofit Organizations

Among the grant recipients are Urban Nature Partners PDX, Self Enhancement, Inc (SEI), Portland YouthBuilders (PYB), and p:ear. ...

Hawthorne, Morrison Bridges Will Close to Motorized Vehicles for July 4 Fireworks Show

The bridges will remain open for bicyclists and pedestrians. ...

Increased Emergency Snap Benefits Continue in July

Approximately 422,000 households will receive an estimated million in extra food benefits ...

Opacity of Performance: Takahiro Yamamoto Opens at PAM

The Portland Art Museum marks a return to live art inside its galleries with a dance installation by Takahiro Yamamoto, the museum’s...

Portland's First Black Book Festival Launches on Juneteenth Weekend

She’s bringing together the community through books! ...

Interstate 84 closed in eastern Oregon due to wildfire smoke

ONTARIO, Ore. (AP) — Transportation officials said Tuesday evening that Interstate 84 is closed near the border of Oregon and Idaho because of wildfire smoke. The Oregon Department of Transportation said the interstate was closed westbound in Ontario and eastbound in Baker City...

New Nevada abortion order helps blunt outside prosecution

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Gov. Steve Sisolak signed an executive order Tuesday he says will help guard against outside prosecution of anyone who receives an abortion or other reproductive care in Nevada, and better protect healthcare workers who provide the services. His executive...

OPINION

Quenn Tiye’s Kitchen

Centuries of indoctrination have ingrained into the minds of white and Black Americans that any aspect of Africanness is negative. ...

The Plan for Transforming Public Safety and Policing in the U.S.

Rising crime leaves communities feeling unsafe, however, police violence and killings of unarmed civilians demonstrate that pouring more money into more-of-the-same policing is not the answer. ...

What Is Afrofuturism? An English Professor Explains

Chambliss defines Afrofuturism as an intersection of speculation and liberation that’s inspired by the concerns of people of African descent. ...

Reflections on the Massacre of the Buffalo 10 & Racism

Former NY state senator and Buffalo native knew many of the people killed ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Justices nix 2nd mostly Black district in Louisiana for 2022

BATON ROUGE (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday put on hold a lower court ruling that Louisiana must draw new congressional districts before the 2022 elections to increase Black voting power. As a result, Louisiana’s November congressional elections will be held using a...

Spit, 'disrespect' arrive at Wimbledon as tennis turns ugly

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — This is not what one thinks of when pondering the supposedly genteel roots of tennis, and the purportedly proper atmosphere at dates-to-the-1800s Wimbledon, a country club sport being contested at a place officially called the All England Lawn Tennis Club: a player, Nick...

Report: Lack of water access costs U.S. .6B each year

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — At least 2 million Americans don’t have running water or a working toilet at home, a crisis that costs the U.S. economy .58 billion each year, according to a report released Tuesday by nonprofit DigDeep. These water access issues disproportionately...

ENTERTAINMENT

Podcast dramas morph to TV shows in Hollywood reappraisal

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'Elvis' is king, alone, of box office after final tallies

NEW YORK (AP) — “Elvis” has won its box-office dance-off with “Top Gun: Maverick.” After the two films reported the same ticket sales Sunday, Monday's final numbers has “Elvis,” alone, as king of the weekend. “Elvis” ultimately grossed .1 million from Friday to...

Britney Spears' ex ordered to trial on stalking charge

VENTURA, Calif. (AP) — A California judge found Monday that there is enough evidence against a man once briefly married to Britney Spears who showed up uninvited at the pop star's wedding to go to trial on a felony stalking charge. After a two-hour preliminary hearing, Ventura...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

New York's 1st legal marijuana crop sprouts under the sun

CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. (AP) — New York's recreational marijuana market is beginning to sprout, literally, with...

1/6 Takeaways: Angry Trump, dire legal warnings and ketchup

The House Jan. 6 committee held a surprise hearing Tuesday delivering alarming new testimony about Donald...

Hard-line conservative Reps. Boebert, Miller win primaries

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two of Congress’ staunchest conservatives repelled more centrist alternatives to lock up...

French parliament elects woman as its speaker, for 1st time

PARIS (AP) — The new speaker of France's lower house of parliament — the first woman to hold the post —...

COVID: Paris court rules govt failed to stockpile face masks

PARIS (AP) — A Paris court ruled on Tuesday that the French government failed to sufficiently stock up on...

San Antonio migrant deaths lead to slow effort to ID victims

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Victims have been found with no identification documents at all and in one case a stolen ID....

Greg Bluestein the Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) -- With less than half a day left to live, Troy Davis' supporters in the U.S. and Europe were trying just about anything Wednesday to win his clemency for killing a Georgia policeman, a crime he and others have insisted for years that he did not commit.

Supporters planned vigils around the world. They'll be outside Georgia's death row prison in Jackson and at U.S. embassies in Europe.

The 42-year-old's most realistic, though slim, chance for reprieve is through the courts, and his lawyers are trying. His backers also have resorted to far-fetched measures: offering for Davis to take a polygraph test, urging prison workers to strike or call in sick, posting a judge's phone number online, urging people to call and ask him to put a stop to the 7 p.m. execution. They've even considered a desperate appeal for White House intervention.

Supporters include former President Jimmy Carter, Pope Benedict XVI and a former FBI director, the NAACP, as well as conservative figures. The U.S. Supreme Court even gave him an unusual opportunity to prove his innocence last year.

Still, prosecutors have backed the guilty verdict and state and federal courts have repeatedly upheld his conviction for killing Savannah officer Mark MacPhail in 1989. Several judges have listened to recanted testimony from witnesses and to jurors who say they would change their verdicts, knowing the facts revealed later.

MacPhail was off-duty working security at a bus station on Aug. 19, 1989, and rushed to the aid of Larry Young, a homeless man that prosecutors say Davis was bashing with a handgun after asking him for a beer. When MacPhail got there, they say Davis had a smirk on his face as he shot the officer to death in a Burger King parking lot. Others have claimed the man with him that night has said he actually shot the 27-year-old officer.

As time ticked toward the execution, an upbeat and prayerful Davis turned down a last meal and planned to spend his final hours meeting with friends, family and supporters. Meanwhile, two attempts to prove his innocence were rejected: a polygraph test and another hearing before the pardons board.

His attorney Stephen Marsh said Davis would only submit to a polygraph test if pardons officials would consider it.

"He doesn't want to spend three hours away from his family on what could be the last day of his life if it won't make any difference," Marsh said.

His lawyers, meanwhile, are trying the legal avenues left to them, filing a motion in a county court challenging the ballistics evidence and eyewitness testimony. A judge could at least delay the execution, which has happened three times before. Most believe arguments on the merits of the case have been exhausted, however.

President Barack Obama also could ask the Justice Department to look at the case, but the NAACP has yet to make that request and legal experts have said it's unlikely he'd step in.

In Savannah, 16 Davis supporters gathered at the Chatham County courthouse to press District Attorney Larry Chisolm to help stop Davis' execution. They said 240,000 people had signed petitions urging the state to spare Davis' life, and delivered them in three large boxes to Chisolm's courthouse office where they were received by a member of the prosecutor's staff. Chisolm has said he's powerless to intervene, but activists say they believe he has enough influence as district attorney to sway the outcome.

As for the new and changed accounts by some witnesses, a federal judge dismissed them, saying that while the "new evidence casts some additional, minimal doubt on his conviction, it is largely smoke and mirrors" after a hearing Davis was granted last year to argue for a new trial to the U.S. Supreme Court, the first time justices had considered it for a death row inmate in at least 50 years. It failed.

Prosecutors have no doubt they charged the right person, and MacPhail's family lobbied the pardons board Monday to reject Davis' clemency appeal. The board refused to stop the execution a day later.

"He has had ample time to prove his innocence," said MacPhail's widow, Joan MacPhail-Harris. "And he is not innocent."

In Europe, where the planned execution has drawn widespread criticism, politicians and activists were making a last-minute appeal to the state of Georgia to refrain from executing Davis. Amnesty International and other groups planned a protest outside the U.S. Embassy in Paris later Wednesday and Amnesty also called a vigil outside the U.S. Embassy in London.

Parliamentarians and government ministers from the Council of Europe, the continent's human rights watchdog, called for Davis' sentence to be commuted. Renate Wohlwend of the Council's Parliamentary Assembly said that "to carry out this irrevocable act now would be a terrible mistake which could lead to a tragic injustice."

The U.S. Supreme Court gave him an unusual opportunity to prove his innocence last year, but his attorneys failed to convince a judge he didn't do it. State and federal courts have repeatedly upheld his conviction.

Spencer Lawton, the district attorney who secured Davis' conviction in 1991, said he was embarrassed for the judicial system that the execution has taken so long.

"What we have had is a manufactured appearance of doubt which has taken on the quality of legitimate doubt itself. And all of it is exquisitely unfair," said Lawton, who retired as Chatham County's head prosecutor in 2008. "The good news is we live in a civilized society where questions like this are decided based on fact in open and transparent courts of law, and not on street corners."

The motion filed in Butts County Court disputes testimony from a ballistics examiner who claimed that the bullets fired in a previous shooting that Davis was convicted of may have come from the same gun that fired at MacPhail. And it challenged eyewitness testimony from Harriet Murray, a witness who claimed at the trial to have identified Davis as the shooter.

It asks the court to vacate Davis' execution, or at least delay it by 90 days, on grounds that it was "based on false, misleading and materially inaccurate evidence."

Witnesses placed Davis at the crime scene and identified him as the shooter. Shell casings were linked to an earlier shooting that Davis was convicted of. There was no other physical evidence. No blood or DNA tied Davis to the crime and the weapon was never found.

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OTHER TROY DAVIS ARTICLES
Is Troy Davis Another Horrific Example of Innocent Execution?
Carter: Execution Exposes Flaws in Death Penalty
The Troy Davis Execution: Latest News, Video, Action Center and Links


Jan. 6 Committe Hearings - Day 6

A suprise hearing with newly discovered evidence will be held Tuesday, June 28 at 9:45 a.m. PT (12:45 p.m. ET).

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