OK Execution Abruptly Delayed; Evidence, Drug Issues Pending


Oklahoma was three hours away from executing Richard Glossip before the court system threw two serious wrenches in the state's execution machine yesterday, reports The Frontier in Tulsa. An appellate court will review new evidence in Glossip's case and the state's controversial drug of choice faces a new federal challenge. Glossip had been served what was supposed to be his final meal when the state Court of Criminal Appeals issued a two-week stay to examine claims of new evidence presented by his attorneys in a court filing Tuesday. Glossip's attorneys cite new evidence indicating Glossip's accomplice, Justin Sneed, may have lied about their client's role in the 1997 murder of Barry Van Treese to avoid a death sentence.

Sneed told The Frontier he told the truth at trial about Glossip’s planning Van Treese's murder for money. Sister Helen Prejean, the nun and anti-death penalty activist, said public opinion, including an appearance on the Dr. Phil show, made a difference in the case. Meanwhile, federal public defenders pursued an injunction seeking to block the state's plans to use the sedative midazolam to execute Glossip and two other inmates set to die next month. Glossip's attorneys asked a federal judge for a preliminary injunction staying the execution due to new information about the availability of lethal drugs.

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