Richard Glossip: Oklahoma death row inmate will have FOURTH 'last meal' as execution date set
A man, who has been on Oklahoma's death row for decades, has gotten his execution date -- September 22 -- for the fourth time. Richard Glossip was convicted for hiring a hitman named Justin Sneed to kill his boss Barry Van Treese in 1997. After Sneed testified against him, Glossip was convicted and awarded the death sentence in 2004.
Since then, his execution date had been set three times, and as a result he had last meals not once but thrice, which included fish and chips, a Wendy’s Baconator burger and a strawberry shake. According to reports, Glossip’s last execution date was fixed seven years ago but it couldn't be carried out as Oklahoma's prison facilities apparently received the wrong mix of lethal injections for the process.
But that’s not just the reason behind the cancellations of his other execution dates. It has been said that several are in support of Glossip and believe he is not guilty. ProPublica reported that his fourth execution date has been fixed “despite persistent claims that the 59-year-old is innocent and allegations that prosecutors ordered the destruction of vital evidence in the 1997 murder-for-hire case that resulted in his death sentence.”
Frequent requests have been made in the past to reopen his case by a federal judge. More recently, an independent probe was initiated in Glossip’s conviction, which eventually found that his case was scarred by prosecutors’ "inexcusable" actions.
Lawyer Stan Perry of the law firm Reed Smith, which carried out the investigation, said, “Our conclusion is that no reasonable jury, hearing the complete record and the uncovered facts detailed in this report, would have convicted Richard Glossip of capital murder.”
And, Republican state representative and committee member Kevin McDugle noted, “The investigative report confirmed in my mind that we do have an innocent man on death row.” He also added, “If we put Richard Glossip to death, I will fight in this state to abolish the death penalty simply because the process is not pure.” Besides, a federal judge had said, “Unlike many cases in which the death penalty has been imposed, the evidence of petitioner’s guilt was not overwhelming.”
However, it seems all the uproar has not stalled Glossip's recent execution date. His attorney, Don Knight, released a statement, saying, “Richard Glossip has been through three tortuous execution dates already. It does not serve justice to set a fourth execution date for an innocent man before all this new evidence can be fully considered in a court of law. Public reaction to this new evidence makes clear that Oklahomans, even those who support the death penalty, do not want to see an innocent man executed.”
Anti-death penalty activist Sister Helen Prejean is also against Glossip’s execution. She said, “I know I have to do everything I know how to do to save the life of this man. When it looks like everything is signed, sealed and delivered what do you do? You go to the public and you raise questions.”