Supreme Court Halts Execution
Richard Glossip, 60, was supposed to be put to death on May 18 for the murder of a motel owner…
Richard Glossip, 60, was supposed to be put to death on May 18 for the murder of a motel owner back in 1997. That isn’t going to happen now — at least for the time being. The Supreme Court literally saved his life.
On May 5, the Supreme Court issued a stay of execution for Glossip. The decision came after Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner F. Drummond (R) told the justices that he believed the courts had made a mistake. According to The New York Times, the AG wrote that his “conviction is unsustainable and a new trial imperative.”
Glossip was convicted in 1998 of capital murder even though he didn’t actually kill anyone. He was arrested and charged after his co-worker, Justin Sneed, claimed Glossip ordered him to kill their boss Barry Van Treese in January 1997. Sneed then beat him to death with a baseball bat.
Glossip maintained his innocence during the trial. He was offered a plea but refused it. In 2001, the Oklahoma Court of Appeals determined he had ineffective counsel and threw out his conviction in a unanimous decision. The judges called the case against him “extremely weak.” In 2004, he was again convicted and sentenced to death.
The case has now received national attention. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian are speaking out for him. His advocates argue the conviction should have never happened because of problems with the prosecution and newly-discovered evidence. O’Ryan Justine Sneed, Justin Sneed’s daughter, even wrote a letter to the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board telling them that after many communications with her father, she believes Glossip is innocent.
Governor Kevin Stitt (R) delayed the execution twice. However, he decided not to delay it a third time after the state’s parole board issued a split ruling in April on whether to give Glossip clemency. He has now sued the board.
The Supreme Court is now deciding whether or not to hear the case formally. For now, the stay is only temporary.