Oklahoma court denies motion to halt execution of Glossip

28 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Court Denies Glossip’s Appeals, Execution To Move Forward Wednesday.

Two weeks ago, Oklahoma was hours away from executing Richard Glossip when a state court stepped in and delayed his execution so it could consider his appeals. 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.The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals denied death row inmate Richard Glossip’s request for a hearing on evidence his attorneys say casts doubts on his guilt, paving the way for his execution Wednesday afternoon. 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.

In a 3-2 decision Monday, the court denied Glossip’s application for post-conviction relief, as well as an evidentiary hearing and a motion for discovery. 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. His attorneys asked the state appeals court to halt his execution earlier this month because they argued that Glossip was improperly tried and sentenced. 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. 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. 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. Presiding Judge Clancy Smith dissented, though, arguing that “the tenuous evidence in this case is questionable at best” if Sneed had disavowed his earlier remarks, and writing that she would allow a 60-day stay to allow for an penitentiary hearing. 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. The court later upheld Oklahoma’s protocol as constitutional, while Justice Stephen Breyer, in a dissent joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, questioned whether capital punishment itself was unconstitutional.

That case bore Glossip’s name, though it was focused on the particular drugs used by Oklahoma and larger questions about how capital punishment is carried out in the United States. Oklahoma had intended to execute Glossip on Sept. 16 in what would have been the state’s first execution since the Supreme Court ruling, but the appeals court called that off with hours to spare.

Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), former University of Oklahoma football coach Barry Switzer and Barry Scheck, co-founder of the Innocence Project, were among those who called on Fallin to”prevent a deadly mistake” and stay the execution. After the bungled execution of Clayton Lockett last year, Oklahoma postponed all executions for months while it investigated what happened and tinkered with its execution protocol.

The state’s investigation said it found problems with the insertion of the IV meant to deliver the lethal chemicals, and Oklahoma later altered its lethal injection policy to include a higher doze of the sedative midazolam.

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