The Supreme Court has halted the execution of Oklahoma death row inmate Richard Glossip after the state’s attorney general acknowledged the need to spare his life, according to reports by the Associated Press. Gentner Drummond, the attorney general of Oklahoma, has stated that Glossip did not receive a fair trial despite the fact that he was executed on May 18. In spite of his comments, an Oklahoma appellate court still upheld the conviction and the state’s pardon and parole board was deadlocked concerning whether to grant Glossip clemency. On Friday, the Supreme Court put a stay on the scheduled execution while it investigates the case. Justice Neil Gorsuch did not participate in the decision-making process, presumably because he had dealt with it earlier as an appeals court judge.
Drummond, a Republican, asked the Supreme Court to grant Glossip a reprieve, stressing that his trial was “unfair and unreliable.” Drummond insisted he still has no faith that Glossip is innocent of his old boss Barry Van Treese’s death in 1997. Justin Sneed, on the other hand, admitted to robbing and killing Van Treese after Glossip promised him $10,000, later receiving a life sentence. Two different inquiries found issues with the prosecution’s case against Glossip. According to Drummond, Sneed lied on the witness stand about his psychiatric state and the reasons behind his taking lithium pills, as well as the evidence being destroyed.
Glossip’s case has previously been reviewed by the Supreme Court; he received a reprieve in 2015. However, the court later denied him again in a 5-4 decision involving the drugs utilized in lethal injection executions.