Richard Glossip Challenging Death Penalty To Stave Off Execution

Wednesday, July 29th 2015, 5:49 pm

An Oklahoma death row inmate is once again asking the Supreme Court to stop his execution. Richard Glossip is scheduled to die by lethal injection seven weeks from today.

Glossip was involved in the recent Supreme Court case that upheld Oklahoma's lethal injection method. He's petitioning the high court again, this time challenging the death penalty in general. 

In 1997, Barry Van Treese was beaten to death at an Oklahoma City hotel. Glossip didn't kill Van Treese, but he has been convicted and sentenced to death for hiring the man who did: Justin Sneed.

“If this is allowed to continue they are going to kill an innocent man,” said Glossip. 

Glossip is the next inmate scheduled to be executed in Oklahoma. Last month, the Supreme Court ruled Oklahoma's lethal injection method was constitutional. But in his dissent, Justice Breyer said it was time for the court to consider the constitutionality of the death penalty.  

6/20/2015 Related Story: Death Row Inmate Richard Glossip Maintains Innocence As Execution Looms

So Glossip's attorney's obliged. In the petition they are challenging the death penalty on the grounds that innocent people could be executed.  

Attorneys say Glossip's case has "exceptional circumstances" that an Oklahoma Appeals Court observed "No Forensic evidence linked (Glossip) to murder and no compelling evidence corroborated Sneed's testimony."  And it quoted a federal judge who said "the evidence of [Mr. Glossip's] guilt was not overwhelming."

“I’m hoping they say, ‘Look, we have claims of innocence here. We have to check this out before we move ahead,’” said Glossip.

Glossip says there are other innocent people awaiting execution across the nation. He hopes the Supreme Court takes up his case not just for him, but for them as well.

“There’s been people who have been executed who are innocent and that’s just something we got to stop.”

There is no timeline on when the Supreme Court can make a decision on if they will take up Glossip's case. Glossip's execution is scheduled for September 16.