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HomePropertySupreme Court docket blocks Richard Glossip’s execution in Oklahoma – Hartford Courant

Supreme Court docket blocks Richard Glossip’s execution in Oklahoma – Hartford Courant


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court docket on Friday blocked Oklahoma from executing loss of life row inmate Richard Glossip for his function in a 1997 murder-for-hire after the state’s legal professional common agreed Glossip’s life ought to be spared.

Whereas it’s uncommon for the conservative-dominated court docket to place executions on maintain, it’s much more uncommon for a prosecutor to facet with the inmate.

Glossip had been scheduled to be put to loss of life on Might 18 regardless of statements by new Oklahoma Legal professional Basic Gentner Drummond that Glossip didn’t obtain a good trial.

An Oklahoma appeals court docket subsequently upheld Glossip’s conviction and the state’s pardon and parole board deadlocked in a vote to grant him clemency.

The excessive court docket put the execution on maintain indefinitely whereas it opinions the case. Justice Neil Gorsuch took no half within the choice, presumably as a result of he handled the case earlier as an appeals court docket decide.

“There’s nothing extra harrowing than the considered executing a person who the state now admits has by no means obtained a good trial,” Glossip legal professional Don Knight mentioned in a press release. “Our hope is that the court docket will reverse the choice of the (Oklahoma Court docket of Felony Appeals) and vacate Mr. Glossip’s conviction as soon as and for all.”

Drummond, a Republican and the state’s prime prosecutor, supported a high-court reprieve for Glossip, telling the justices, “Glossip’s trial was unfair and unreliable.” He in a press release he was grateful for the excessive court docket’s choice.

“I’ll proceed working to make sure justice prevails on this necessary case,” he mentioned.

However Drummond additionally has mentioned he doesn’t consider Glossip is harmless of the murder-for-hire killing of Glossip’s former boss, Barry Van Treese, in 1997. One other man, Justin Sneed, admitted robbing and killing Van Treese after Glossip promised to pay him $10,000. Sneed obtained a life sentence in trade for his testimony and was the important thing witness towards Glossip.

Van Treese’s brother, Ken Van Treese, declined to touch upon Friday’s ruling.

Former Oklahoma County District Legal professional David Prater has lengthy mentioned he believes Glossip persuaded Sneed to kill Van Treese. He mentioned that whereas Sneed’s testimony was most compelling, there was loads of proof to corroborate it.

“When police got here to speak to Glossip about Van Treese’s whereabouts, he directed him away from the room he knew Van Treese was in,” Prater mentioned Friday. “At any level, Glossip had the chance to inform the police that Sneed did this. He by no means did that. He even helped Sneed clear up every part.”

Prater mentioned Sneed and Glossip additionally each had a considerable amount of money that Prater mentioned they stole from Van Treese’s automobile.

“In gentle of Gentner Drummond’s place relating to the keep, I don’t really feel just like the Supreme Court docket had a lot of a alternative,” Prater mentioned. “However the reality will come out.”

Two separate unbiased investigations have revealed issues with the prosecution’s case.

Drummond mentioned Sneed lied on the stand about his psychiatric situation and his cause for taking the mood-stabilizing drug lithium, and that prosecutors knew Sneed was mendacity.

Additionally, proof was destroyed, Drummond mentioned.

Some Republican state lawmakers who assist the loss of life penalty have joined the rising refrain of Glossip supporters who’re searching for to overturn his conviction.

“We’re simply ecstatic,” state Rep. Kevin McDugle mentioned in a quick phone interview on Friday.

Glossip was spending his final day of contact visitation together with his spouse, Lea Glossip, on the jail when he realized of the information, she mentioned.

“We had been reaching the top of the go to the place we must say our goodbyes when the warden got here in, pulled us out into the hallway and advised us the information,” Lea Glossip mentioned in a textual content message to The Related Press.“It really appears like answered prayers.”

Glossip’s case has been to the Supreme Court docket earlier than. He was given a reprieve in 2015, though the court docket later dominated 5-4 towards him in a case involving the medicine utilized in deadly executions.

Glossip has been simply hours away from being executed three separate occasions. His final scheduled execution, in September 2015, was halted simply moments earlier than he was to be led to the loss of life chamber when jail officers realized that they had obtained the unsuitable deadly drug. That blend-up helped immediate a virtually seven-year moratorium on the loss of life penalty in Oklahoma.

Glossip’s case attracted worldwide consideration after actress Susan Sarandon — who received an Academy Award for her portrayal of loss of life penalty opponent Sister Helen Prejean within the 1995 film “Useless Man Strolling” — took up his trigger in actual life. Prejean herself has served as Glossip’s religious adviser and often visited him in jail. His case additionally was featured within the 2017 documentary movie “Killing Richard Glossip.”

Glossip is the primary inmate who was granted a reprieve by the justices since their time period started in October. The court docket rejected pleas from 15 others, together with Darryl B. Barwick, who was executed in Florida on Wednesday.

However in an analogous state of affairs to Glossip’s, the justices in January ordered a Texas appeals court docket to look once more on the case of a death-row inmate who additionally had the backing of prosecutors. The inmate, Areli Escobar, had been convicted and sentenced to loss of life based mostly of forensic proof {that a} decide later discovered to be flawed. However the Texas Court docket of Felony Appeals overturned the decide’s order for a brand new trial, regardless that the newly elected prosecutor in Travis County, Texas, was not standing behind the conviction. When Escobar appealed to the Supreme Court docket, the prosecutor supported his bid. Escobar was not going through imminent execution.


Murphy reported from Oklahoma Metropolis.



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