The Court’s decision (or non-decision) comes amidst a groundswell of local activism in Savannah, where citizens are demanding that the new District Attorney, Larry Chisolm, reopen the case due to the major doubts about Troy Davis’ responsibility for the crime. Today’s non-decision is also significant, in that it may show that at least some Supreme Court Justices are concerned about whether strong claims of innocence are getting adequate review in our lower courts.
In September, the U.S. Supreme Court could reject Troy’s petition. Or they could agree to hold a hearing on Troy’s case or remand it to the federal District Court for a new hearing. This would allow the new evidence available in this case to finally be examined in open court and would signify that fairness, at least in this case, is a priority over “finality”—something immensely important in the case of the death penalty, where mistakes, arbitrariness and bias are all too common.