UPDATE: The US Supreme Court denied Glossip’s request for a stay. But Oklahoma’s governor granted a stay until November 6—not on the grounds of possible innocence but to examine the drugs used in the lethal injection. See her press release below.
Richard Glossip is scheduled to be executed today at 3:00 p.m. CT/4:00 p.m. ET in Oklahoma. He was set to die on Sept. 16, 2015 but was granted an extension until today. (See my Sept. 16 blog post.) Earlier this week, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals denied Glossip a reprieve to prove his innocence in a 3-2 vote. Yesterday, Glossip filed a petition before the U.S. Supreme Court. Justice Sotomayor is assigned to the jurisdiction that includes Oklahoma and will decide to grant or deny the petition. She could also decide to refer the petition to the full court. In that case, five justices would have to agree to the stay of the execution. The nation’s highest court must act before 3:00 p.m. CT.
You may recall from my earlier blog post that Glossip was convicted of hiring Justin Sneed to kill Barry Van Treese in 1997. Van Treese owned a motel in Oklahoma City where Glossip and Sneed worked. In a deal with prosecutors, Sneed received a sentence of life without parole for testifying that Glossip hired him to commit the murder. Glossip has always claimed he’s innocent. In fact, the case against Glossip is largely based on the word of Sneed—the actual killer.
Some death penalty states do not allow a death sentence unless the person is the actual killer. But Georgia just allowed it. We saw Kelly Gissendaner get executed at 12:21 am ET today in Georgia. Hers was also a case of the actual killer (her lover) striking a deal to spare his life. We may see it again today in Oklahoma if Glossip’s execution goes forward as scheduled.
In other news, today is the deadline for Curtis Wayne Wright to fight his extradition to Florida from Missouri. Wright is accused of murdering Theresa Sievers in her Bonita Springs, Florida home. Sievers was found on June 29. In addition to Wright, Jimmy Rodgers, another Missouri man, is accused of her murder. Rodgers is currently serving a 6-month sentence for a parole violation. He admitted only to leaving Missouri without permission. Both men were spotted together in Florida in late June. Wright and Sievers’s husband, Mark, are childhood friends. Police say more arrests are coming; many expect Mark Sievers to be among them. (See my Sept. 17, 2015 blog post about this case.)
Finally, today is a “control date” for Jesse Matthew, accusing of murdering two Virginia college students—Morgan Harrington (2009) and Hannah Graham (2014). The court is likely to set a motion schedule and deal with pretrial issues. Matthew is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday for a 2005 sexual assault to which he pled guilty. He could get up to a life sentence. In a letter submitted to the court on Matthew’s behalf, an ex-girlfriend said he was sexually abused as a child by at least three people—events that likely shaped the person he became.
UPDATE this afternoon:
The Manhattan DA (my former office) just released this statement regarding an indictment of a Sex Trafficker who targeted teens at Covenant House in New York. Keep fighting, Jayne! Click on the link below.