"Mr. Davis vastly overstates the value of his evidence of innocence," Moore wrote.
Warnock said he believed that Davis was innocent. But even if Davis were not, the reverend said the execution did not allow for mercy, which the Board of Pardons and Paroles also denied.
“Mercy reaches beyond the limit of justice,” Warnock said. “Where the law was limited, the Board could have done what was right. They did not do their job.”
Church member Brenda Davenport agreed, noting that no consideration was given for whether Davis was a different man this week than the man convicted of the crime.
She said she also worried about questions raised from so many changes in witness testimony.
“Twenty years was a chance for rehabilitation if he really did it,” Davenport said. “If not, America will be looked at in horror to think we’ve killed an innocent person.”
MacPhail’s family has rejected innocence claims, repeatedly saying they believed Davis was the murderer. They supported his execution.
Still, Warnock said he prayed for them, saying their pain was similar to that of the family of James Byrd, a Texas man dragged to his death behind a pick-up truck in 1998.
Texas executed Lawrence Brewer Wednesday for his role in Byrd’s death.
“We have to move past that pain and do justice,” Warnock said. “The death penalty is still wrong.”