Gov. Mary Fallin issues stay of execution for Richard Glossip
MCALESTER, Okla. (KFOR) – An Oklahoma inmate was just minutes away from death when Gov. Mary Fallin stepped in to bring his execution to a halt.
Richard Glossip was scheduled to be put to death at 3 p.m. on Wednesday for the murder of Barry Van Treese.
Glossip was convicted of Van Treese's murder, though Glossip was not the one who took his life.
The man who bludgeoned Van Treese to death, Justin Sneed, testified that Glossip hired him for the murder.
Throughout trials and appeals, Glossip maintained his innocence.
"The dying part doesn't bother me. Everybody dies, but I want people to know I didn't kill this man [Barry Van Treese]. I didn't participate or plan or anything to do with this crime. I want people to know that it's not just for me that I'm speaking out. It's for other people on death row around this country who are innocent and are going to be executed for something they didn't do. It's not right that it's happening. We're in a country where that should never happen," Glossip told NewsChannel 4 in an earlier interview. "They offered me a life sentence at my second trial. I turned it down because I'm not going to stand there and admit to something that I didn't do. Even though my attorneys said I was an idiot for turning it down because I could end up back on death row. I prefer death row than to tell somebody I committed a crime I didn't do."
His execution was stayed three times by the courts to review new evidence.
On Tuesday, Glossip's team made a final appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
According to the denial, Justice Steven Breyer was the one who was in favor of granting a stay.
For his last meal, Glossip asked for Pizza Hut, Long John Silvers and Wendy's. There is a $25 limit on inmate's last meal requests.
NewsChannel 4's Ali Meyer was one of five members of the media who was selected to view the execution from inside the prison.
Until the very end, Glossip had support from high-profile celebrities.
While many people at the prison were waiting for the Supreme Court's decision on the case, dozens of others took to protesting the death penalty outside the governor's mansion.
Fallin released the following statement earlier this week regarding the case:
"The state of Oklahoma has gone to extraordinary lengths to guarantee that Richard Glossip is treated fairly and that the claims made by him and his attorneys are taken seriously. He has now had multiple trials, seventeen years of appeals, and three stays of his execution. Over and over again, courts have rejected his arguments and the information he has presented to support them. We saw that again today, with the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals affirming the notion that Glossip received a fair trial.
As I have said throughout the process, the role of my office is to follow the law and ensure justice is done. If a state or federal court grants Glossip a new trial or decides to delay his execution, I will respect that decision. If that does not happen, his execution will go forward on September 30, which is the date set by the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals.
As always, my heart goes out to the family of Barry Van Treese, whose suffering has been made worse by uncertainty and delay."
In a shocking turn of events, Gov. Mary Fallin issued a stay of execution for Glossip to address the lethal injection protocols.
She issued a 37 day stay of execution to address legal questions that were raised on Wednesday to address the state's lethal injection protocols.