Split Supreme Court Orders Review Of Death Row Inmate's Claims That Witnesses Recanted Testimony

U.S. Court News

According to the Fulton County Daily Report, the case of Troy Anthony Davis took another extraordinary turn on Monday as the US Supreme Court ordered a federal district judge to hear testimony on the death row inmate's claims that he did not murder a Savannah, Ga., police officer.

Justice Antonin Scalia said in a dissent that the high court hadn't made a similar move in nearly 50 years.

The decision was welcomed by supporters of Davis, who for years have claimed that prosecution witnesses have recanted their testimony from the 1991 trial in which a jury condemned Davis to die for the 1989 killing of Officer Mark Allen MacPhail.

Georgia Attorney General Thurbert E. Baker, whose office has fought Davis' efforts to gain relief, issued a measured response to the ruling, saying simply that he hoped the hearing would resolve doubts about the case.

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AAA weighs in on the evidence being used to convict drivers of DUI marijuana.

Six states that allow marijuana use have legal tests to determine driving while impaired by the drug that have no scientific basis, according to a study by the nation’s largest automobile club that calls for scrapping those laws.

The study commissioned by AAA’s safety foundation said it’s not possible to set a blood-test threshold for THC, the chemical in marijuana that makes people high, that can reliably determine impairment. Yet the laws in five of the six states automatically presume a driver guilty if that person tests higher than the limit, and not guilty if it’s lower.

As a result, drivers who are unsafe may be going free while others may be wrongly convicted, the foundation said. The foundation recommends replacing the laws with ones that rely on specially trained police officers to determine if a driver is impaired, backed up by a test for the presence of THC rather than a specific threshold. The officers are supposed to screen for dozens of indicators of drug use, from pupil dilation and tongue colour to behaviour.