The mood was somber outside West Hall on Wednesday night as the VSU NAACP gathered to pay tribute to Troy Davis at the scheduled time of his execution.
“I feel it is pretty pitiful the justice system did not grant this man clemency,” Valious Smith, NAACP member said.
“They are killing an innocent man with pretty much no evidence.”
The group gathered together right before 7 p.m., holding hands in a circle while being lead in a prayer.
Some people cried, and as a bell from a nearby church struck seven o’clock, the group continued to hold hands as the VSU NAACP president, Deandre Jones, spoke to the group before they disbanded.
The supporters were all in for a surprise, however. At the last minute, it was announced that his execution had been delayed.
The Supreme Court had decided to grant a temporary stay to Davis, but after three and half hours of deliberation, Davis was sentence to execution by lethal injection at 11:08 p.m.
Many students expressed their opinions through outlets like Twitter and Facebook, but some students believed that it was too little too late.
“It shouldn’t take something like this to get people together,” Akua Twenewaa, a nursing major and member of the African Student Association, said. “But I was just thinking that prayer is powerful.”
The VSU NAACP and the ASA have seen their efforts to help Davis at least temporarily rewarded, but not everyone was thrilled about the sudden attention the case has seen.
“Here they are coming up to the last minute and coming up with stuff that is not true,” Anneliese MacPhail, the mother of victim Mark MacPhail, told WLTZ 38 News in an interview Wednesday.
“You had the chance and you didn’t. I think he got a fair trial, his peers found him guilty, let’s get this over with.”
One piece of the case that many people calling for clemency cite is the fact that seven of the original nine witnesses have recanted their earlier testimony, and one of the original witnesses is now thought by many to be the real murderer of MacPhail.
Supporters of Davis insist there is too much doubt for this case to warrant a death sentence in this case.
“I’m proud of the international community for coming out to support Troy Davis at this time,” Jones said. “There was no evidence in this case.”