Death Row Inmate Gets Reprieve Hours Before Execution

Brittany M. Hughes | September 16, 2015
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Oklahoma Dept. of Corrections

(Photo Credit: Oklahoma Department of Corrections)

Imagine waking up one morning believing you had only hours to live, only to be granted a second shot at life. That’s exactly what happened to Richard Glossip, a death-row inmate in Oklahoma charged with plotting the 1997 murder of hotel owner Barry Van Treese, after his lawyers filed the Hail Mary of all appeals and snagged him an emergency stay of execution.

According to NBC News, Glossip was granted the temporary reprieve from death mere hours before he was to receive a lethal injection at 3 p.m. on Wednesday after his defense attorneys filed new evidence they say will clear Glossip of any wrongdoing. This new evidence reportedly involves a witness who says the actual killer, Justin Sneed, set up Glossip for orchestrating the murder of his former boss.

In order to review this claim, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals pushed Glossip’s scheduled execution back to Sept. 30.

Several high-profile characters, including Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), former Dallas Cowboys head coach Barry Switzer and actress Susan Sarandon have championed the crusade for Glossip’s release.

According to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, Glossip is one of only three inmates currently slated for death row in the state.

No matter where you stand on the death penalty, if this guy is really innocent, it will be one heck of a close call.