Carter: Execution exposes flaws in death penalty

September 22, 2011 - 10:15 AM
Georgia Execution

Man protests during a vigil for Georgia death row inmate Troy Davis In Jackson, Ga., Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. Davis is scheduled to die Wednesday for the killing off-duty Savannah officer Mark MacPhail. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

ATLANTA (AP) — Former President Jimmy Carter says the execution of death row inmate Troy Davis in Georgia shows that the nation's death penalty system is "unjust and outdated."

The Georgia Democrat said Thursday in a statement to The Associated Press that he hopes "this tragedy will spur us as a nation toward the total rejection of capital punishment."

Davis was executed late Wednesday night for the 1989 murder of off-duty Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail. His supporters say he was the victim of mistaken identity, while prosecutors and MacPhail's family said justice was finally served after four years of delays.

Carter says "if one of our fellow citizens can be executed with so much doubt surrounding his guilt, then the death penalty system in our country is unjust and outdated."