OAN Roy Francis
10:12 AM – Saturday, May 6, 2023
The United States Supreme Court halted the execution of Oklahoma inmate Richard Glossip on Friday.
Oklahoma Republican Attorney General Gentner Drummond had previously contended that the trial of Glossip was “unfair and unreliable,” however, an Oklahoma state panel voted against clemency for the inmate, and the execution was scheduled for May 18th.
Drummond filed a motion to the Supreme Court earlier this week asking for the execution to be halted, and the stay was granted on Friday afternoon. The justices halted the execution while they considered Glossip’s petitions for appeal, which challenge the conviction.
“After thorough and serious deliberation, I have concluded that I cannot stand behind the murder conviction and death sentence of Richard Glossip,” Drummond said. “This is not to say I believe he is innocent. However, it is critical that Oklahomans have absolute faith that the death penalty is administered fairly and with certainty.”
In 1997, Justin Sneed, 19-years-old at the time, confessed to robbing and beating Barry Van Treese, Glossip’s former boss at his motel job, to death with a baseball bat. Sneed received a life sentence, but was spared the death penalty when he testified against Glossip, saying that Glossip had paid him $10,000 for the murder.
Glossip was convicted in 1998, then in 2004, after an appeals court threw out the primary conviction, he was found guilty once again. However, two new independent investigations have raised doubts about the case against the inmate.
Drummond said that some of the issues about the case include Sneed lying on the stand about a psychiatric condition he suffered from at the time, and the reason that he was taking mood-disorder medicine, lithium. Drummond also claimed that the some of the evidence in the case was destroyed by authorities.
Glossip also has pending petitions for appeals challenging his conviction on the grounds that prosecutors had not turned over evidence about Sneed to his defense attorney during the trial.
The state AG clarified that he does not think the two independent investigations exonerate Glossip, he stated that he believes the inmate is guilty of being an accessory to murder after the fact at a minimum, and that he is “likely also guilty of murder,” according to the New York Post.
However, Drummond went on to say that he does not believe the evidence provided prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Glossip’s attorney, Don Knight, said that the Supreme Court’s decision to halt the execution is “the right thing.”
“We are very grateful to the U.S. Supreme Court for doing the right thing in stopping Richard Glossip’s unlawful execution,” he said. “There is nothing more harrowing than the thought of executing a man who the state now admits has never received a fair trial. Thankfully, for the time being, Mr. Glossip is out of peril.”
Since his 1998 conviction, Glossip has had nine different execution dates that have been changed, and three last meals.
Justice Neil Gorsuch recused himself from the case due to his past dealings with Glossip’s case while serving as an appeals court judge.
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