Hearing for man convicted of killing Ga. cop

Officer Mark MacPhail was shot and killed as he rushed to help a homeless man being attacked

By Russ Bynum
Asssociated Press

SAVANNAH, Ga. — A Georgia death row inmate is getting a rare chance to argue his innocence before a federal judge nearly 20 years after his conviction for slaying an off-duty Savannah police officer.

Troy Anthony Davis attended the hearing that started Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Savannah and will likely last more than a day.

Death penalty appeals are usually based on technical or constitutional questions. But the U.S. Supreme Court last summer took the unusual step of allowing Davis to claim new evidence shows he's innocent.

Davis was convicted in 1991 of killing Mark MacPhail, who was shot as he rushed to help a homeless man being attacked.

Prosecutors insist Davis is the killer. But Davis' attorneys say witness testimony unavailable at his trial will show another man pulled the trigger.

Copyright 2010 Asssociated Press

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