OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The European Union Thursday, sent a letter to Governor Stitt demanding the stay of Richard Glossip’s execution. This was moments after Oklahoma lawmakers called on the governor to do the same, stop his execution.
This comes after a packed press conference from Oklahoma Representatives and faith leaders calling on the Governor to order a 60-day stay. Representative Kevin McDugle has pushed against the execution of Glossip for months.
“I would tell the governor to make this the last time we remove Richard’s execution date,” said McDugle.
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Glossip was initially charged with accessory to murder on Jan. 15, 1997, after the murder of his boss, Barry Van Treese.
Confessing about the killing, Justin Sneed would admit that Glossip paid him to kill Van Treese. Sneed would end up being sentenced to life in prison while Glossip got the death sentence.
Last month at a hearing with the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board, Glossip was denied clemency in a 2-2 vote. The fifth member and tie-breaker, Richard Smotherman recused himself due to his wife being a prosecutor previously in the case.
“His wife Connie Smotherman was the attorney in this case that asked Sneed to change his testimony to fit the narrative of the prosecutors,” claimed Representative McDugle at Thursday’s presser. “That’s a felony offense and nobody has charged her.’
| Glossip asks court to void clemency hearing as others call for stop to execution >
KFOR reached out to the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board last week and this week for responses to the case, but they have yet to reach out.
“This is just inhumane,” said Antoinette Jones, sister of Julius Jones. Julius received clemency from Governor Stitt in 2021 for a 1999 murder. “We need to and have to do away with the death penalty. If you are a decent person you should know that the answer to death is not more death.”
Thursday afternoon the European Union Ambassador to the US Stavros Lambrinidis and Swedish Ambassador to the US Karin Olofsdotter sent a letter to the governor demanding the stay of Glossip’s May 18th execution date.
“Mr. Glossip’s case exemplifies one of the main reasons why the European Union and itsStavros Lambrinidis, Ambassador of the European Union to the United States
Member States are resolutely against capital punishment: The death penalty is irreversible
and even the most advanced legal systems risk executing innocent individuals. According to
the latest available data, since 1973, 191 death row inmates have been exonerated throughout
the United States, including 10 from Oklahoma.
Mr. Governor, what happened to Mr. Van Treese was a horrible crime and the perpetrator
must be held accountable. However, it is now of utmost importance that a potentially
innocent man is not executed.”
The family of Barry Van Trees said that the date of May 18th for Glossip’s execution means justice for them. Justice that they have waited around 26 years to see.
| Death row inmate Richard Glossip’s case goes before board >
“right away I got involved and what I learned is that when something looks like it’s all done, you need to create doubt,” said Sister Helen Prejean at the presser. Her fame comes from being portrayed by actor Susan Sarandon in the movie ‘Dead Man Walking.’
“The Christian stance has always been that it is about the defense of society,” said Sister Prejean. “Look what we have here, we have government officials getting involved to decide. Are we going to play God and decide what kind of crimes do what? We’re setting up a system that as human beings we can’t handle and that is what is happening with Richard Glossip.”
Many faith leaders spoke out against the execution Thursday alongside politicians.
“They committed felonies to convict this guy, why would they do that,” said Representative Justin Humphreys. “I am mad. We finally though, have an Attorney General who can stand up and do what’s right.”
As of Thursday night, Governor Stit has not responded to the push from lawmakers to stay the execution. For now, lawmakers and others wait to see what happens with the petition that was headed to the Supreme Court.