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Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - 1:00pm

Two Sides Rally For Justice In Death Case

Updated: 4 years ago.
GPB's Orlando Montoya interviews Mark MacPhail, Jr. (GPB camera photo taken by MacPhail's sister.)

Both sides in the case of death row inmate Troy Davis are rallying Tuesday, ahead of a key hearing ordered by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Davis is back in Savannah where his lawyers Wednesday will argue that evidence barred from his original 1991 trial could have proven his innocence.

The case has attracted international attention from death penalty opponents, who will join the Davis family at a church vigil Tuesday night.

Tuesday afternoon, the family of slain police officer Mark MacPhail and their supporters also planned to rally at a monument to slain policemen.

The hearing will be the first time 21-year-old Mark MacPhail, Jr., who was seven weeks old when his father was killed, sees Troy Davis.

"To be able to finally see my father's killer, I can't possibly prepare my mind at all for it," MacPhail says.

Davis has avoided execution three times, once within two hours of his scheduled death.

MacPhail says, Davis' execution would bring his family closure.

"It will bring closure because that means, it's done, it's finished, I'll never have to do another interview about Troy Anthony Davis," MacPhail says. "It's all about Troy Anthony Davis. What about the true victim, officer MacPhail, who was shot mercilessly two times, once in the chest and again in the face, without any remorse shown toward him?"

In an interview with GPB, MacPhail says national media coverage of the case has been biased in Davis' favor.

MacPhail only recently moved back to Savannah to go to college and become the public face of a family whose name, he says, he usually avoids mentioning when introducing himself in Savannah.

"I rarely give out my last name here," he says. "I'd rather fly under the radar."

That might be hard to do as members of the MacPhail and Davis families, their supporters, with throngs of media following them, descend upon Savannah for several crucial days of testimony.

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