Supreme Court blocks execution in Oklahoma
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Friday blocked Oklahoma from executing death row inmate Richard Glossip after the state’s attorney general agreed Glossip’s life should be spared.
Glossip had been scheduled to be put to death on May 18 despite statements by new Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond that Glossip did not receive a fair trial.
An Oklahoma appeals court subsequently upheld Glossip’s conviction and the state’s pardon and parole board deadlocked in a vote to grant him clemency.
The high court put the execution on hold while it reviews the case. Justice Neil Gorsuch took no part in the case, presumably because he dealt with it earlier as an appeals court judge.
Drummond, a Republican, supported a high-court reprieve for Glossip, telling the justices, “Glossip’s trial was unfair and unreliable.”
But Drummond also has said he does not believe Glossip is innocent of the murder-for-hire killing of Glossip’s former boss, Barry Van Treese, in 1997. Another man, Justin Sneed, admitted robbing and killing Van Treese after Glossip promised to pay him $10,000. Sneed received a life sentence in exchange for his testimony and was the key witness against Glossip.