Actual Innocence

Troy Davis Case is Back Before SCOTUS. Is Convicting the Innocent a Self-Standing Constitutional Violation?

Thus far, the United States Supreme Court has not definitively answered the question of whether convicting an innocent individual is a constitutional violation. The widely covered Troy Davis dispute may finally force the Court to decide this question. A comprehensive analysis of the case can be found in this SCOTUS Blog article. Mr. Davis has been sentenced to death for killing a police officer. Many people believe Mr. Davis is innocent, but the evidence establishing his innocence has come very late in the proceedings and the case has numerous procedural problems. Time Magazine and many others thinking that Mr. Davis is innocent, but this case involves a cop killing and is highly politically charged. Last year, the United States Supreme Court granted Mr. Davis an unprecedented evidentiary hearing on actual innocence. The Court gave him the hearing, but denied his claim. Mr. Davis’s lawyers are back before the Supreme Court with three challenges including an original action for habeas corpus.