Richard Glossip: Death row inmate to be executed today despite penalty being halted to consider fresh evidence claims

The prisoner has support from public figures including Richard Branson and Susan Sarandon

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The Independent Online

Death row prisoner Richard Glossip is due to be executed in Oklahoma - despite courts halting the process two weeks ago amid claims of fresh evidence.

Glossip was convicted of ordering the death of his boss, Barry Van Treese in 1997. Van Treese was beaten to death by a baseball bat. 

Currently, Justin Sneed who worked with Glossip and Mr Van Treese, is currently serving a life sentence for the murder.

He avoided the death penalty through a plea deal which saw him testify in court that Glossip paid him to commit the crime, a claim he stood by in a re-trial in 2004. 

Glossip maintains he was framed by Sneed. No DNA or fingerprints have linked Glossip to the murder.

Glossip was scheduled to be executed two weeks ago, but was granted a reprieve three hours before the penalty was about to be carried out, so that claims of new evidence could be assessed. One claim was an inmate’s disclosure that he overheard Sneed admit to framing Glossip.

According to the Guardian, an open letter was also written by Sneed’s daughter that suggests her father considered recanting his original statement, which would “exonerate Mr Glossip”.

But the court decided by 3-2 votes on Monday that Glossip’s execution should go ahead, saying the supposedly new evidence just expands on theories raised in past appeals.

Following the decision, lawyers for Glossip reportedly made last-minute appeals to the US Supreme Court, to Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin for a 60-day stay of execution and to the criminal appeals board for a new hearing.

The last of these requests was rejected and, unless one of the other two is granted, Glossip is due to receive the lethal injection at 3pm local time (9pm UK time).

The case has received widespread attention, with public figures including Richard Branson and Susan Sarandon calling for a reprieve.