Troy Davis, the condemned inmate who convinced hundreds of thousands of people but not the justice system of his innocence, filed an eleventh-hour plea Wednesday asking the U.S. Supreme Court to stop Georgia authorities from executing him for the murder of an off-duty police officer.
His execution had been set to begin at 7 p.m., but as the hour arrived, Georgia prison officials were still waiting for the high court's decision.
Though Davis' attorneys say seven of nine key witnesses against him have disputed all or parts of their testimony, state and federal judges have repeatedly ruled against granting him a new trial. As the court losses piled up Wednesday, his offer to take a polygraph test was rejected and the pardons board refused to give him one more hearing.
Davis' supporters staged vigils in the U.S. and Europe, declaring "I am Troy Davis" on signs, T-shirts and the Internet. Some tried increasingly frenzied measures, urging prison workers to stay home and even posting a judge's phone number online, hoping people will press him to put a stop to the 7 p.m. lethal injection. President Barack Obama deflected calls for him to get involved.
"They say death row; we say hell no!" hundreds of protesters chanted outside the Jackson prison where Davis was to be executed. A few dozen riot police stood watch.