Mark Linnhoefer – Richard Glossip, alleged mastermind behind a 1997 murder, twice tried and convicted for it, was granted a stay of execution, initially planned on the 16th of September, for another two weeks.
Glossip is accused of ordering Justin Sneed to kill a man called Barry Van Treese who worked in a motel that Glossip managed. The entire case against Glossip is based mostly on Sneed’s testimony, who said that he was acting under Glossip’s orders but gave said testimony in exchange for life without parole instead of death.
The execution has been delayed before, latest in January, when lawyers convinced the Supreme Court that the experimental drug midazolam was unfit to use in an execution for risks of severe pain and cramps in the convict.
This Monday, Glossip’s lawyers sent an appeal to Governor Mary Fallin based on testimony by an inmate called Michael Scott saying that it is “common knowledge” that Sneed uses Glossip as a scapegoat. The governor rejected it, calling the evidence old. The lawyers then submitted their appeal to Oklahoma’s highest court of appeals, which then granted the stay. The new evidence coupled with these testimonies is supposed to make Glossip’s innocence clear to the jury, according to Glossip’s lawyers.
This renewed stay really sheds light on the issue with death penalty – when can you be certain enough that this human being deserves to be killed? It is supposed to be reserved for clear-cut cases of horrible acts against humanity, but apparently the death penalty is given out arbitrarily, even to innocents.
Even if this is not the case with Glossip, it is still saddening and actually frightening to see that someone supposedly innocent, with his lawyers presenting evidence pointing to that time and time again, has been sitting on death row for so long, with his only silver lining being the stays he is granted.