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Troy Davis executed after final appeal fails

The front of the prison had plenty of security on hand Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011 as death row inmate Troy Davis is scheduled to be executed Wednesday night. Davis, who has always maintained his innocence, sits on death row for the 1989 murder of off-duty Savannah Police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail. Supporters of Davis are urging Savannah's top prosecutor to intervene with just hours to spare before Davis' scheduled executionT AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, John Spink

Troy Davis last words: "I am innocent"
Troy Davis
AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, John Spink

(CBS/AP) JACKSON, Ga. - Strapped to a gurney in Georgia's death chamber, Troy Davis lifted his head and declared one last time that he did not kill police officer Mark MacPhail. Just a few feet away behind a glass window, MacPhail's son and brother watched in silence.

Outside the prison, a crowd of more than 500 demonstrators cried, hugged, prayed and held candles. They represented hundreds of thousands of supporters worldwide who took up the anti-death penalty cause as Davis' final days ticked away.

"I am innocent," Davis said moments before he was executed Wednesday night. "All I can ask ... is that you look deeper into this case so that you really can finally see the truth. I ask my family and friends to continue to fight this fight."

Prosecutors and MacPhail's family said justice had finally been served.

"I'm kind of numb. I can't believe that it's really happened," MacPhail's mother, Anneliese MacPhail, said in a telephone interview from her home in Columbus, Ga. "All the feelings of relief and peace I've been waiting for all these years, they will come later. I certainly do want some peace." She dismissed Davis' claims of innocence.

"He's been telling himself that for 22 years. You know how it is, he can talk himself into anything."

Davis was scheduled to die at 7 p.m., but the hour came and went as the U.S. Supreme Court apparently weighed the case. More than three hours later, the high court said it wouldn't intervene. The justices did not comment on their order rejecting Davis' request for a stay.

Hundreds of thousands of people signed petitions on Davis' behalf and he had prominent supporters. His attorneys said seven of nine key witnesses against him disputed all or parts of their testimony, but state and federal judges repeatedly ruled against him - three times on Wednesday alone.

Officer MacPhail's widow, Joan MacPhail-Harris, said it was "a time for healing for all families."

"I will grieve for the Davis family because now they're going to understand our pain and our hurt," she said in a telephone interview from Jackson. "My prayers go out to them. I have been praying for them all these years. And I pray there will be some peace along the way for them."

Complete Coverage of Troy Davis on Crimesider

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