Don Davis was sentenced to die in 1992 for the 1990 murder of Jane Daniels.
During his trial, Mr. Davis' defense lawyer requested funds for an independent psychiatric examination of his client. Under Ake vs. Oklahoma, a 1985 Supreme Court ruling, Mr. Davis should have been entitled to this evaluation. However, the funds were denied and only a general testimony about the impact of ADHD combined with unstable upbringings and substance abuse was presented. Later, in an appeals decision that upheld Mr. Davis's death sentence, the dissenting judge said that the original psychiatric assessment did “not come close to satisfying the requirements of Ake...[and the examiner] did not conduct even the most rudimentary psychological testing, conducted no additional interviews, and was not provided an opportunity to review relevant medical, educational and psychological records from Davis’s past."
On April 17, 2017, the Arkansas Supreme Court stayed Mr. Davis's execution and the United States Supreme Court voted to uphold the state court's decision. This decision was made amidst debate over the constitutionality of Arkansas's use of the lethal injection drug midazolam, which may not sufficiently prevent pain during execution.
A U.S. Supreme Court decision in a case involving Jame E. McWilliams, an Alabama prisoner, may also impact Mr. Davis's case.
04-17-2017: Court Decisions Force Arkansas to Halt Execution
- Contact Gov. Asa Hutchinson and ask him to halt this execution: contact him via this link, by phone at (501) 682-2345, or through his Twitter account @AsaHutchinson. If you prefer to send him a letter, here is the mailing address: Governor Asa Hutchinson, State Capitol Room 250, 500 Woodlane Avenue, Little Rock, AR 72201.
- If you live in Arkansas, write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.
- Get involved with the Arkansas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty via this link.
- Please share this information with your friends, especially those in Ohio, and ask them to help halt the execution of Mr. Davis by taking one of the actions listed above.
Please check back. We will be updating this page as more information about how you can help stop the execution of Mr. Davis becomes available.