Oklahoma Governor Grants Richard Glossip a Stay of Execution

1 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Death row inmate Richard Glossip given last minute stay of execution.

Oklahoma Gov. The Governor of Oklahoma has granted a stay of execution for a convicted murderer on death row because of questions over one of the drugs set to be used.

OKLAHOMA CITY — The latest on the scheduled execution of an Oklahoma death row inmate Richard Glossip, who was convicted of ordering the 1997 beating death of his boss but claims he was framed by the actual killer (all times are local): The head of Oklahoma’s prison system refused to answer questions from the media after Gov. Mary Fallin halted the execution of Richard Glossip at the last minute on Wednesday after prison officials tried to go forward with the wrong drugs, officials said.

Glossip’s lawyers had tried to submit a statement from a prison inmate who said he heard his former colleague boast about implicating him in the murder of Barry Van Treese. Mary Fallin postponed an inmate’s scheduled execution Wednesday, saying a drug that the state Department of Corrections had received to carry out a lethal injection didn’t match those listed in the agency’s protocols.

Fallin said prison officials received potassium acetate for use in Richard Glossip’s execution, but Oklahoma’s guidelines call for the use of potassium chloride. The case of Glossip, 52, is the latest to draw national attention after a series of botched lethal injections put the death penalty under increased scrutiny. Even more unique – Glossip is one of half of the death row inmates on the roster who did not personally carry out the murders for which they are condemned.

The seemingly thin evidence that led to Glossip’s conviction has also drawn the attention of celebrities like Susan Sarandon, George Takei and former University of Oklahoma football coach Barry Switzer. Before him came Kelly Renee Gissendaner, who was executed just after midnight Wednesday for convincing her lover to stab her husband to death in 1997. The state Attorney General’s office provided more clarity, explaining that shortly before the execution, prison officials revealed they did not have the specific drugs called for in the execution protocol — which was upheld by the U.S. Patton said his office requested the stay “out of due diligence.” He walked away from reporters at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary without answering questions. If Glossip is killed, it would be the first execution in Oklahoma since the nation’s highest court upheld the state’s three-drug lethal injection formula.

With a dearth of physical evidence, Glossip was convicted primarily on testimony given by Justin Sneed, 38, who was given a life sentence in exchange for his confession that Glossip hired him to beat Van Treese to death. And in the vast majority of those cases, the people actually responsible for the killings were handed lighter sentences than the people who contracted them. In her order, Fallin granted a 37-day stay for Glossip, saying the state needed to determine whether its use of a new drug — potassium acetate — was in compliance. But just hours earlier, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals granted a rare two-week reprieve to review his claims of new evidence, including another inmate’s assertion that he overheard Sneed admit to framing Glossip.

An argument filed to an Oklahoma appeals court included a signed affidavit from a convict in Sneed’s prison claiming that Sneed had been “bragging about how Glossip took the fall” for Van Treese’s murder, Sister Helen Prejean, Glossip’s spiritual adviser, told Al Jazeera ahead of his original execution date earlier this month. Glossip has maintained his innocence, and his attorneys contend prosecutors leaned too heavily on Sneed’s testimony, which is the only concrete evidence linking Glossip to the murder. “We know Mr. Attorney General Scott Pruitt urged the high court to not stop the execution, arguing that another delay for Glossip would amount to a “travesty of justice.” Gov.

Over and over again, courts have rejected his arguments and the information he has presented to support them.” “If they kill Richard today, or if they don’t, the landscape has changed, because it will be an excellent example of how you can kill an innocent man. 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.

She said the execution – the first she will be witnessing since 2004 – will be extremely difficult for her, but added: ‘I am doing everything for him I can, to try to be with him in those final moments of terror. Some states switched to midazolam in recent years after foreign pharmaceutical companies began restricting access to pentobarbital, which was often used in lethal injection cocktails in the U.S. But two of the court’s liberal justices also noted they would be open to a legal challenge to the death penalty’s constitutionality in the future, meaning Glossip may have opened the door for a separate landmark court case. His legal team wanted an evidentiary hearing and planned to call several witnesses, including Sneed and his former cellmate, Michael Scott, according to court records.

But last week, Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater said that he has not seen any new evidence that suggests Glossip is not guilty, adding the whole thing is ‘a b******** PR campaign’. Before Charles Warner was executed in January, Oklahoma prison officials waited about an hour before proceeding while justices considered whether the sedative midazolam was an appropriate drug to use. Glossip contacted Prejean in January, shortly before his former execution date – which was delayed while the U.S Supreme Court considered his challenge over the combination of drugs used in the lethal injection procedure in Oklahoma. Now, after almost two decades, the victim’s son Dabiel Van Treese, who is planning to attend the execution, said the people fighting to spare Glossip’s life have ‘more money than sense’. In the letter, Glossip’s attorneys point to a second affidavit that supposedly undermines Sneed’s testimony, and highlight his struggles with drug addiction at the time of the killing. “Gov.

Glossip’s sentence would give clearer witness to the value and dignity of every person’s life, and would contribute to a society more cognizant of the mercy that God has bestowed upon us all,” Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano wrote.

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