By Brad Friedman on 9/22/2011, 3:08pm PT  

Reuters in 2008:

The parole board in the state of Georgia spared a convicted killer from execution hours before he was due to die by lethal injection on Thursday and commuted his sentence to life in prison.

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles made its decision less than three hours before Samuel David Crowe, 47, was to be executed, according to a spokeswoman for the state's prisons.

"After careful and exhaustive consideration of the requests, the board voted to grant clemency. The board voted to commute the sentence to life without parole," the parole board said.
...
In March 1988, Crowe killed store manager Joseph Pala during a robbery at the lumber company in Douglas County, west of Atlanta. Crowe, who had previously worked at the store, shot Pala three times with a pistol, beat him with a crowbar and a pot of paint.

Crowe pleaded guilty to armed robbery and murder and was sentenced to death the following year.

"David (Crowe) takes full responsibility for his crime and experiences profound remorse," according to Georgians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, an advocacy group, who welcomed the board's decision.

The BRAD BLOG last night, after the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles had denied clemency to a different prisoner:

Despite 20 years asserting his own innocence; 7 of 9 witnesses having recanted their testimony, claiming police coercion; 3 jurors in the death penalty case having filed affidavits retracting their votes for "guilty" verdict; the murder weapon used in the killing of off-duty Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail never having been found; no physical evidence tying Davis to the murder; hosts of luminaries from Republicans Bob Barr and Michael Steele to Democrats like President Jimmy Carter to a former GA Supreme Court Justice to a former FBI Director and many more calling for him to be spared; and after 3.5 hours of secret deliberation by the U.S. Supreme Court who temporarily reprieved his execution at the last moment before denying a stay without explanation, Davis was killed tonight by the big government state of Georgia at 11:08pm ET.

In his last words, according to witnesses to the execution, Davis spoke to the family of Officer MacPhail in the front row, and told them again he was sorry for their loss, but that he was innocent, did not have a gun, and did not kill their "son, father, brother."

Other than the confessed murderer being spared, and the man who maintained his innocence for 20 years being killed, I wonder if the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles saw any other significant differences between the cases of Samuel David Crowe and Troy Anthony Davis.

[Hat-tip @AngryBlackLady on Twitter.]