Supreme Court Halts Execution

Richard Glossip, a 60-year-old man who was scheduled to be executed on May 18 for the murder of a motel owner in 1997, has been granted a temporary reprieve by the Supreme Court. The highest court intervened on May 5 and halted Glossip’s execution. This action was taken in response to Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner F. Drummond, a Republican, who expressed his belief that the previous court decisions in Glossip’s case were erroneous. In a letter to the justices, the Attorney General stated that Glossip’s conviction is not supportable, and a new trial is necessary. Thus, the Supreme Court’s decision has effectively saved Glossip from facing immediate execution.

In 1998, Glossip was found guilty of capital murder, despite not physically carrying out the act himself. The basis of his conviction stemmed from the testimony of his co-worker, Justin Sneed, who alleged that Glossip had instructed him to murder their boss, Barry Van Treese, in January 1997. Subsequently, Sneed proceeded to fatally beat Van Treese with a baseball bat.

Throughout the trial, Glossip consistently asserted his innocence. Despite being presented with a plea deal, he declined to accept it. In 2001, the Oklahoma Court of Appeals reviewed his case and unanimously overturned his conviction, citing inadequate legal representation and deeming the evidence against him to be exceedingly weak. However, in 2004, Glossip was retried, found guilty once more, and subsequently sentenced to death.

The case has garnered widespread national recognition, with notable figures such as Kim Kardashian lending their voices in support of Glossip. Advocates for Glossip assert that his conviction should never have taken place, citing concerns regarding the prosecution’s handling of the case and the emergence of newly-uncovered evidence. Notably, O’Ryan Justine Sneed, the daughter of Justin Sneed, wrote a letter to the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board expressing her belief in Glossip’s innocence, based on numerous communications she had with her father.

Governor Kevin Stitt, a Republican, postponed Glossip’s execution on two occasions. However, he ultimately chose not to grant another delay after the state’s parole board reached a divided decision in April regarding whether to grant Glossip clemency. Consequently, Glossip has taken legal action by filing a lawsuit against the parole board.

Currently, the Supreme Court is deliberating on whether to formally review the case. As of now, the stay of execution is temporary, awaiting further resolution from the court.




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