A letter written to Governor Mary Fallin by some very well-known Oklahoma individuals urges her to “prevent a deadly mistake,” according to The Huffington Post on Friday.
Senator Tom Coburn, coach Barry Switzer and others asked Fallin to stay the execution of Richard Glossip, who is on death row for the 1997 murder of an Oklahoma City motel manager, “so that deep concerns about his guilt can be addressed.”
On September 16, unless you act, the State of Oklahoma will put Mr. Glossip to death for the murder of Barry Van Treese. Justin Sneed – who, by his own admission, beat Van Tresse to death with a baseball bat – will not meet that fate.
The writers of this letter have a wide range of professional backgrounds and political perspectives. But, we share a deep concern about the integrity of the criminal justice system in Oklahoma and throughout the United States. We are particularly concerned about the danger of executing an innocent man. Could that really happen? In the United States, in 2015?
We also don’t know for sure whether Richard Glossip is innocent or guilty. That is precisely the problem.
If we keep executing defendants in cases like this, where the evidence of guilt is tenuous and untrustworthy, we will keep killing innocent people.
The Innocence Project later tweeted the article of the letter, mentioning both authors.
— Innocence Project (@innocence) September 11, 2015
Fallin’s spokesman said there would be no comment on the letter this evening.
Glossip, the convicted killer for the 18-year-old murder case, is to be put to death in McAlester on September 16.