Key dates in legal case of death row inmate Richard Glossip

30 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Execution would be Oklahoma’s first since ruling on drugs.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A death row inmate’s scheduled execution for his role in a 1997 motel killing would be the first in Oklahoma since the nation’s highest court upheld the state’s three-drug lethal injection formula. McALESTER, Okla. (AP) — Key events in the criminal case against Oklahoma death row inmate Richard Glossip, who is scheduled to be executed Wednesday after being given a two-week reprieve so a court could consider a claim that he was framed.Barring last-minute eruptions of common sense, three different states this week will put to death three different people in cases that point up why the death penalty is so absurd, and astonishingly immoral.

In Georgia, the state Board of Pardons and Paroles just rejected a final clemency bid by Kelly Gissendaner, who is under a death sentence for plotting the murder of her husband in 1997. Activists are planning to gather for rallies at the Oklahoma state house and the US supreme court on Tuesday evening in support of Glossip, who continues to maintain his innocence of the 1997 murder of Barry Van Treese at a motel in Oklahoma City. But Glossip claims he was framed by the actual killer, Justin Sneed, who is serving a life sentence and was the state’s key witness against Glossip in two separate trials.

Glossip was the lead plaintiff in a separate case in which his attorneys argued the sedative midazolam did not adequately render an inmate unconscious before the second and third drugs were administered. They believe wholeheartedly in the innocence of Glossip, a man they say is kind and gentle, not the malicious murderer the state of Oklahoma has portrayed him to be. “You know how I got involved in this whole thing?” Prejean said, laughing. “I’d written to him sporadically and then somebody arranged a phone call January 5, so I’m talking to him for the first time. But in a 3-2 decision earlier this week, the same court denied Glossip’s request for an evidentiary hearing and emergency stay of execution, paving the way for his execution to proceed. In this sweet voice, he says ‘Sister Helen, I’m really glad to meet you … I hope you don’t mind – I know I didn’t ask your permission or anything, but, like, I put you down to be with me when I’m executed … I just put you down in the hopes that you’d be with me.’” From there, she said, she “just started praying and doing everything I needed to do”, contacting lawyers and raising awareness.

June 1998 — During Glossip’s trial, Sneed tells an Oklahoma County jury that Glossip feared for his job and promised Sneed $10,000 if he would rob and kill Van Treese. Oklahoma’s Court of Criminal Appeals ruled 3-2 Monday that new evidence brought by Glossip’s lawyers merely repeats arguments raised in earlier appeals.

November 2008 — Glossip pursues a federal appeal, arguing prosecutors were wrong to hang posters in the courtroom outlining their evidence and that the judge shouldn’t have let jurors hear victim-impact statements. The attorney, G Lynn Burch, who has since left the defense team, discussed the details of the case and asked Van Atta to contact Glossip, who at the time did not have many supporters. “I’m not the penpal type of guy,” Van Atta said, “I waited around a few good months before I decided.” After learning more about Glossip and his case, Van Atta said, “I thought oh my God, this is insane. Oklahoma first used the drug last year in the execution of Clayton Lockett, who writhed on the gurney, moaned and clenched his teeth for several minutes before prison officials tried to halt the process.

Circuit Court of Appeals upholds conviction, says Glossip’s second trial was “fundamentally fair” and cites trial testimony that showed the motel’s books were short and that Van Treese had imposed a deadline for Glossip to straighten them out. June 25, 2014 — Following the botched April 2014 execution of another Oklahoma inmate, Glossip and 20 other inmates file a federal lawsuit alleging Oklahoma unconstitutionally allows an “ever-changing array of untried drugs” during executions. Separately, the state delays several inmates’ executions, including Glossip’s date from November 2014 to January 2015, saying it needs time to obtain lethal drugs. Glossip said his MP3 player has helped him get through his incarceration, and that his lack of access to it as he awaits execution has been one of the most challenging points of his incarceration.

Prieto was convicted of two murders in Virginia, and another one near Ontario, Calif., for which he was sentenced to death in 1992 (police believe he was responsible for several other murders, as well). Supreme Court agrees to consider whether Oklahoma can use midazolam, a surgical sedative, during executions, prompting another delay in Glossip’s execution.

Stay in the present moment and imagine in front of you and around you all these people that have stood up for you.’” “I think he’s going to be OK, I really do,” Prejean said. “He’s truly innocent, almost to the point of being naive about what could happen to him. Sept. 16, 2015 — The appeals court halts Glossip’s execution, grants his attorneys two weeks to raise new arguments and resets the execution for Sept. 30. Supreme Court to intervene, saying Oklahoma should not be able to “summarily … execute” a prisoner without giving full consideration to new evidence. Glossip’s attorneys have maintained that Sneed was coerced into implicating Glossip, stressing that it was interrogators who first introduced his name, and that Sneed received a lighter life sentence for his cooperation. The attorneys asked the court to stay the execution while the justices weigh their arguments, and also suggested that one member of the panel, Judge Robert Hudson, “consider whether he should recuse himself” because he worked as first assistant to the attorney general while he was “actively advocating” to uphold Glossip’s conviction. “As I have said throughout the process, the role of my office is to follow the law and ensure justice is done.

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