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OK Governor Delays Glossip Execution Amid Innocence Claims

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt gave death row inmate Richard Glossip a 60-day stay of execution while a state appeals court considers his claim of innocence. Glossip’s execution for the 1997 killing of Glossip’s boss, motel owner Barry Van Treese, had been scheduled for Sept. 22, the Associated Press reports. A clemency hearing before the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board that was scheduled for next week will be delayed. Glossip asked the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals for a new hearing after an independent investigation by Houston law firm Reed Smith raised new questions about his guilt. The report did not find definitive proof of Glossip’s innocence, but raised concerns about lost or destroyed evidence and a detective's asking leading questions to Glossip’s co-defendant, Justin Sneed, to implicate Glossip.

Sneed admitted killing Van Treese but said he did so at Glossip’s direction. Sneed was sentenced to life in prison. Don Knight, Glossip's attorney, said 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.” Glossip, now 59, has long maintained his innocence. He has been scheduled to be executed three times, only to be spared shortly before the sentence was set to be carried out. He was just hours from being executed in September 2015 when prison officials realized they had the wrong lethal drug, a mix-up that helped prompt a nearly seven-year moratorium on the death penalty in Oklahoma.


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