OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Court documents show a district judge has approved Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond’s motion to delay several executions in the state, further postponing death row inmate Richard Glossip’s execution.
Last week, Drummond filed a motion with the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, requesting that seven impending executions be conducted with more time between each event due to an understaffed Department of Corrections.
“One aspect that has become clear over time is that the current pace of executions is unsustainable in the long run, as it is unduly burdening the DOC and its personnel,” states the Jan. 17 filing. “This is especially true given the extensive and intensive nature of the training DOC personnel undergo to prepare for each execution.”
Now, the court of criminal appeals has approved that request, pushing back the executions for Richard Glossip, Jemaine Cannon, Anthony Sanchez, Phillip Hancock, James Ryder, Michael Smith, and Wade Lay.
“I am grateful for the Court’s ruling,” Drummond said. “This decision will help maintain confidence in our protocol in this solemn and important process. The dedicated individuals of the Department of Corrections will continue their rigorous training and preparations for upcoming executions. As I have stated before, this was not a request I took lightly. Victims’ families have waited many years to see that justice is done, and I am thankful for their understanding.”
The execution date for Richard Glossip is now set for May 18, 2023.
“We deeply appreciate the efforts of Attorney General Drummond to recognize that the current pace of executions is unsustainable. While we are thankful for today’s ruling from the OCCA to reset Richard Glossip’s execution date, this does not change the fact that an innocent man is still on death row and facing execution. Rich’s conviction of murder for hire has been found by the international law firm Reed Smith to be unsupportable. We look forward to using the time we now have to work with the State to fully investigate Rich’s wrongful conviction. We know that no one in Oklahoma wants to execute an innocent man.”Don Knight, Attorney for Richard Glossip
Jemaine Cannon’s execution date is pushed to July 20, 2023.
The execution of Anthony Sanchez is set for September 21, 2023.
Phillip Hancock’s execution is now November 30, 2023.
James Ryder is set to be executed February 1, 2024.
Michael Smith’s is set for April 4, 2024.
Finally, the execution of Wade Lay is now June 6, 2024.
Additional execution dates will be set at a later time.