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Man who's been on death row 24 years escapes death for fourth time

Man who's been on death row 24 years escapes death for fourth time

Richard Glossip, a former motel manager from Oklahoma, was due to be executed earlier this week after being sentenced to death in 2004

A man who has been on death row for 24 years has escaped death for the fourth time, having been granted a temporary reprieve. 

Richard Glossip, a former motel manager from Oklahoma, was due to be executed earlier this week after being sentenced to death for allegedly hiring a hitman to murder his then-boss, Barry Van Treese. 

But after his lawyers have insisted that there is newly uncovered evidence that will prove his innocence, the Governor of Oklahoma allowed the convicted murderer more time to fight his case. 

In 1997, Glossip was convicted of planning Van Treese’s murder, having allegedly hired 19-year-old hitman Justin Sneed. 

Glossip's sister Nancy Ogden with her grandson Kevin Ogden at a 2015 demonstration protesting Glossip's execution.
REUTERS/Alamy Stock Photo

While Sneed received a life sentence for his part in the murder, Glossip was found guilty and sentenced to death. 

However, he has strongly maintained his innocence ever since, launching multiple appeals against his conviction while awaiting lethal injection. 

Over the years, his execution has previously been scheduled three times - having even been given three 'final meals', of which one included fish and chips, a Wendy's Baconator burger and a strawberry milkshake – before a fourth date was set for Thursday 22 September this year. 

This has, of course, now been and gone, as Governor Kevin Stitt recently issued a temporary reprieve to Glossip, postponing the scheduled September execution to December to provide the Oklahoma courts time to determine whether they would grant Glossip a hearing on his innocence claim, according to the Death Penalty Information Center

klahoma Governor Kevin Stitt.
World Politics Archive (WPA)/Alamy Stock Photo

“This stay is granted to allow time for the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to address a pending legal proceeding,” Stitt’s executive order stated. 

At the time, Glossip’s attorney Don Knight said in a statement: “We are extremely grateful for Governor Stitt’s thoughtful and compassionate decision to grant a 60-day reprieve for Rich’s execution date, and to do so sufficiently in advance of the August 23 clemency hearing to spare everyone the trauma that such a hearing entails. 

“This will also spare Mr. Glossip from beginning the cruel execution protocol for a fourth time. We note that new evidence of innocence continues to be uncovered on an almost daily basis, including compelling evidence of admitted killer Justin Sneed’s desire to recant his testimony accusing Mr. Glossip of orchestrating the murder of Barry Van Treese.” 

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Featured Image Credit: Uncredited/AP/Shutterstock/Save Richard Glossip/Facebook

Topics: US News