Troy Davis' final death row hours: Prayer, nap

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

ATLANTA - After a long day of emotional goodbyes, Troy Davis knelt in his prison cell and began to pray 15 minutes before he was scheduled to die. Then, a guard spotted him doing something a bit more unexpected: He was sleeping.

Documents obtained by The Associated Press provide a glimpse into the last moments of Davis' life before he was executed Sept. 21 for the murder of an off-duty Savannah officer. At one point, Davis vowed to fast and refused several prison meals, but as the night dragged on he asked for food. And as his 7 p.m. scheduled execution came and went, guards caught Davis taking an hour-long nap.

Troy Davis executed in Georgia

Davis' execution for the murder of Mark MacPhail was the center of an international outcry from supporters who said he was the victim of mistaken identity. Prosecutors and MacPhail's family said they were certain Davis was guilty and that justice was served.

The documents were obtained through an Open Records request. Prison officials also provided an audio recording and transcript of his last words, which he used to again proclaim his innocence and urge his supporters to "continue to fight this fight."

Davis was notified of the execution date on Sept. 7, and a day later he was asked to make a last meal request. He scrawled a response in big letters: "None. Will Be Fasting!"

Prison logs show Davis awoke the day of his execution and refused his breakfast tray. He stayed in bed until about 7:50 a.m. when he was strip-searched and escorted to the shower. The first of his 28 visitors soon began to file in.

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Davis turned down his lunch at noon and, after the last visitor left about six hours later, refused to eat an early dinner, requesting only the grape drink on the tray. Guards spotted him praying around 6:45 p.m., and by 7 p.m., when his execution was scheduled to begin, he was napping.

He awoke an hour later, called his attorney for an update on the status of his last-minute court appeals and asked the guards to bring in some food. He spent the next few hours on and off the phone with his lawyer awaiting news on his fate.

He likely heard that the Supreme Court denied his request for a last-minute stay shortly before guards came into the room at 10:28 p.m. A few minutes later, he was strapped to the gurney and execution witnesses started filing in. It was over at 11:08 p.m., when authorities pronounced him dead and cleared the death chamber.