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Web petition can help spare life of condemned man

Published 05/10/2015

On September 30, Richard Glossip came within hours of death in an Oklahoma prison before being granted a temporary stay of execution. The stay was not an act of mercy; the state discovered at the last minute that it did not have the drugs it was required by law to use to kill him and had no choice but to put his death on hold.

It was the second time in two weeks that this man had suffered the agony of coming dangerously close to the time he was scheduled to die.

Richard was condemned to death on the basis of the unsupported testimony of the man who admits the killing. Justin Sneed cut a deal with the prosecution for his "evidence". In return for implicating Richard, and saying that he had asked him to commit the murder, he was spared the death penalty himself and now enjoys the comforts of a minimum security prison.

Witnesses who have served time with Sneed say he openly boasts of how he was able to save his own life by pinning his crime on Richard. Prosecutors dismiss these witnesses, claiming that they are unreliable, because their records prove them to be liars, thieves and drug-users.

Ironically, this profile could easily serve to describe their own star witness in the case - a man with a string of convictions proving him a thief, liar and drug-user long before he ever gave testimony against Richard Glossip. And yet his unsubstantiated word is deemed sufficient by these same prosecutors to condemn a man to death.

A new date has been set for Richard's execution, November 6. There is no intention on the state's part to re-examine the evidence, nor for those involved to examine their consciences as to whether they can be morally certain beyond all reasonable doubt that Richard is guilty of doing what Justin Sneed says he did.

During the time Richard has left, I would urge people to go to the website www.richardeglossip.com and sign the petitions there to try and put pressure on the State of Oklahoma to put a halt to this grave injustice.

It could well help prevent Richard from being killed when his next date to die comes around.

REV PATRICK G BURKE

Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny

Belfast Telegraph

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