Oklahoma inmate Richard Glossip asks the Supreme Court to stay his execution again

30 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Oklahoma Man Fights Death Sentence Day Before Execution Date.

Richard Glossip didn’t personally kill Barry Van Treese in 1997. OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The latest on the scheduled execution of an Oklahoma death row inmate who was convicted of ordering the 1997 beating death of a motel owner but claims he is innocent and was framed by the actual killer. (All times are local): 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.

Pending a last-minute appeal to the US supreme court, Richard Glossip, who two weeks ago came within hours of death by lethal injection, will once again prepare to enter Oklahoma’s death chamber on Wednesday. Celebrities, elected officials and supporters around the globe have made Glossip a high-profile figure in the death penalty debate, which is reaching a fever pitch as the US prepares to execute six inmates in nine days.

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. 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. 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. Just hours before Glossip was originally scheduled to be executed on Sept. 16, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals granted a two-week reprieve to review his claims of new evidence in the case, including another inmate’s assertion that he overheard Sneed admit to framing Glossip. 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.

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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

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 midazolam 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. 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. 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. 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.

Glossip’s Supreme Court challenge ultimately failed in late June, when the high court ruled 5 to 4 that Oklahoma and other death penalty states could use the drug. 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.

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. In denying his attorney’s petitions on Monday, the court of appeals said new evidence unearthed by his supporters and new defense team did not significantly alter the narrative on which he was convicted by two separate juries, in 1998 and 2004.

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. We know from the outpouring of support that we have seen and from the massive publicity that this case has generated, that the entire world is now watching,” the attorneys wrote. “They have passed their verdict in this case and that verdict is not guilty. Richard glossip has been convicted of not one but two juries of 12 by murder in the first degree, that he intentionally masterminded the murder of a 54-year-old father, of five children. You believe that if you’re unjustly accused that people will realize it and it’s just — I’m heartbroken for the state our judicial system as much as I’m heartbroken for man.

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