Nun believes Oklahoma inmate is innocent, urges officials to issue stay of execution

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OKLAHOMA CITY – A Catholic nun is urging officials to issue a stay of execution for an Oklahoma inmate.

Sister Helen Prejean is the author of the best-selling book Dead Man Walking.  The book was turned into an Oscar-award winning movie starring Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon.

Today Sister Prejean helped deliver petitions to Governor Mary Fallin’s office, asking for a stay of execution for Richard Glossip.

“Richard Glossip’s case cries out for deeper, moral consideration, because it raises the spectre of an actually innocent man being executed for a crime he did not commit—based on the testimony of only one man, the man who actually killed the victim,” Sister Prejean said in a statement.

Glossip was convicted in a hire-for-murder scheme that resulted in the 1997 death of Barry Alan Van Treese, owner of a Best Budget Inn in Oklahoma City. 

Prosecutors said Glossip hired maintenance worker Justin Sneed to take a baseball bat and bludgeon their boss Van Treese to death because Glossip thought he would be fired. At trial, Sneed testified that he killed Van Treese at Glossip’s behest and received a life sentence. Glossip was sentenced to death.

He says he’s reconciled with his fate, though he has always maintained his innocence.

Sister Prejean ministers to the condemned and has spoken with Glossip.  She is planning to be with him at his execution.

Sister Prejean spoke with Linda Cavanaugh about why she is getting involved in trying to stop Glossip’s execution.

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