Oklahoma Appeals Court Says Glossip’s Execution Can Proceed

28 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

After Few Executions This Summer, Six Executions Slated For Next Two Weeks.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma appeals court on Monday narrowly denied a death row inmate’s last-minute request for a new hearing and ordered that his execution may proceed. That’s what she explained to a full auditorium at Manhattan’s New York Institute of Technology Saturday during a panel discussion about the criminal justice system.Since January, only two states have conducted executions — Missouri and Texas — but three other states are aiming to do so in the coming days: Georgia, Oklahoma, and Virginia.

In a 3-2 decision, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals denied Richard Glossip’s request for an evidentiary hearing and an emergency stay of execution. A long-time anti-death penalty activist, Sarandon got involved in the case of Richard Glossip, who was sentenced to death in 1998 — but since then many, including Sarandon and the woman she played in “Dead Man Walking,” have called into question his guilt.

Beginning in January, executions in Oklahoma, Florida, and Alabama were halted pending the Supreme Court ruling on Oklahoma’s use of midazolam — a lethal injection drug that was part of at least three problematic executions in 2014. Glossip was convicted in two separate trials, but in both cases there was no physical evidence and the former hotel manager was convicted largely on Sneed’s testimony, given in exchange for a life sentence instead of the death penalty. Mary Fallin (R) was a “horrible person,” for not stopping the execution, a comment that sparked some online back-and-forth with one of Fallin’s aides. The Best Budget Inn’s maintenance man, Justin Sneed, confessed to beating Van Treese to death with a baseball bat, but said Glossip paid him to do it. Cory Booker (D-NJ), CNN commentator and #Cut50 founder Van Jones, “Orange is the New Black” author Piper Kerman, Equal Justice Initiative founder Bryan Stevenson, and ex-con and writer Shaka Senghor. “Some people say that marriage equality moved because of ‘Glee’ and the fact that (gay) people are humanized … and now some people are giving you credit, Piper, for ‘Orange is the New Black’ changing people’s relationship with folks behind bars,” he said.

Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment because it didn’t adequately render an inmate unconscious before the second and third drugs were administered. The majority opinion, written by Judge David Lewis, says Glossip has not suffered a miscarriage of justice, and that new evidence brought to light by his defense attorneys only expands on theories raised in his earlier appeal denied by the OCCA. Glossip’s case attracted international attention after actress Susan Sarandon, who portrayed nun and death penalty opponent Sister Helen Prejean in the movie “Dead Man Walking,” took up his cause.

The Court said delaying the execution further would only result in evidence similar to what’s already been presented, and a further stay, evidentiary hearing, or discovery is not warranted. She said Glossip’s imminent execution means he’ll suffer irreparable harm without a stay. “While finality of judgment is important, the State has no interest in executing an actually innocent man,” Judge Smith writes. “An evidentiary hearing will give Glossip the chance to prove his allegations that Sneed has recanted, or demonstrate to the Court that he cannot provide evidence that would exonerate him.” Judge Arlene Johnson wrote in her dissent that she doesn’t believe Glossip received a fair trial, and that the majority’s denial seems like a preemptive move to keep Glossip’s attorneys from filing any additional last-minute claims. KGOU is a community-supported news organization and relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. On Wednesday, Sept. 30, Oklahoma is set to execute Richard Glossip for masterminding the 1997 murder of his boss — Barry Van Treese — who owned a motel Glossip worked at.

Glossip has maintained his innocence for nearly 17 years on death row — a claim that has led several thousand people to support his cause, including anti-death penalty advocates, senators, and celebrities like Susan Sarandon and Richard Branson. Glossip’s attorneys have claimed that Sneed’s confession and testimony are unreliable and asked for time to present new evidence that they said would shed light on Glossip’s innocence.

Terry McAuliffe —who has the sole authority to grant clemency in the state — refuses to stop the execution, he will be only the third sitting Democratic to execute someone. Earlier this year, Virginia lawmakers killed a bill, which was backed by McAuliffe, to shield information on lethal injection drugs and the companies that make or compound them.

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