OKLAHOMA (USA): CITING QUESTION OVER NEW DRUG, GOVERNOR HALTS GLOSSIP'S EXECUTION
September 30, 2015: 4 p.m. Gov. Mary Fallin has granted a last-minute stay for Glossip who was set to be executed Wednesday afternoon. Fallin's stay for Richard Glossip came about an hour after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Glossip's request to halt his execution. In her order, Fallin granted a 37-day stay for Glossip, saying the state needed to determine whether its use of a new drug ‚ÄĒ potassium acetate ‚ÄĒ was in compliance. Fallin reset Glossip's execution for Nov. 6.
3:10 p.m. About 30 people have gathered in front of the Oklahoma Governor's Mansion to protest the scheduled execution of death row inmate Richard Glossip. The protesters held signs that read "Don't Kill For Me, Stop Executions" and "Save Richard Glossip."
2:55 p.m. The U.S. Supreme Court has denied an Oklahoma death row inmate's request to halt his execution, paving the way for his lethal injection to be carried out at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. In a brief order Wednesday, the court denied Richard Eugene Glossip's petition to have the justices take up his case and stop his scheduled execution. Glossip has maintained his innocence despite being convicted twice for his role in the 1997 beating death of Barry Van Treese. Glossip's attorneys claim they have new evidence that suggests co-defendant Justin Sneed acted alone. The new evidence includes a signed affidavit from another inmate who said he heard Sneed say he framed Glossip.
2:25 p.m. Oklahoma prison officials are delaying a scheduled execution while waiting on the U.S. Supreme Court to consider a request to halt the punishment. Lawyers for Richard Glossip say the death row inmate deserves a hearing on a claim that he is innocent. The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals rejected the request Tuesday. Glossip was due to die at 3 p.m. Wednesday, but Department of Corrections spokeswoman Terri Watkins says the agency will wait until hearing from the Supreme Court on whether Glossip's execution should move forward.
11:35 a.m. British billionaire Richard Branson took out a full-page ad in The Oklahoman newspaper urging the state to stop the planned execution of an inmate who argues he's innocent. The Virgin Group founder placed the ad in Wednesday editions, the same day Richard Glossip is scheduled to be executed. The notice is also posted on Branson's blog. The ad encourages residents to contact Gov. Mary Fallin's office and request a 60-day stay of execution. The ad says there is a "breathtaking" lack of evidence in the case, and that Glossip deserves more time to prove his innocence. Branson is the latest high-profile person to come out against Glossip's execution. Hollywood actress Susan Sarandon and death penalty opponent Sister Helen Prejean also have taken up Glossip's cause.
9:30 a.m. A representative for Pope Francis has asked Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin to commute the death sentence of a man set to be executed Wednesday afternoon. The letter from Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano is dated Sept. 19, but was released Wednesday by the governor's office. Vigano, who is Francis' diplomatic representative in the U.S., requested that Fallin commute the death sentence of inmate Richard Glossip. The letter says a commutation "would give clearer witness to the value and dignity of every person's life." A spokesman for Fallin says the governor does not have the authority to grant a commutation. Vigano sent a similar letter Tuesday to officials in Georgia, but that didn't prevent the execution of Kelly Renee Gissendaner. During the pontiff's visit last week to the U.S., Francis urged Congress to abolish the death penalty. (Sources: The Oklahoman, CNN, The Republic, 30/09/2015)