Actress Susan Sarandon and Sister Helen Prejean are on a crusade to save the life of a man scheduled to die on September 16. Richard Glossip, who was twice convicted for murder but maintains his innocence, has an execution date with the state of Oklahoma.
The women, along with hundreds of thousands of others around globe, believe Glossip was wrongfully convicted and should not be executed. The actress and anti-death penalty advocate want a chance to present information that wasn’t used at the trials. They have made multiple pleas to the governor and circulated a petition asking her to grant a stay which has more than 226,000 signatures. She, so far, has refused.
It’s a known fact that Glossip didn’t actually kill anyone. He was convicted in a 1997 murder for hire scheme. His first conviction was later overturned but he was convicted a second time in 2004 and sentenced to die again.
Glossip’s co-worker Justin Sneed admitted he killed their boss Barry Van Treese with a baseball bat at the Best Budget Inn in Oklahoma City. Prosecutors argued Glossip, who worked as a manager, made Sneed do this because he thought he was going to be fired. Glossip had no criminal record and there was no forensic evidence linking him to the crime.
A story by The Intercept outlines transcripts that show Sneed was encouraged to implicate Glossip and able to avoid the death penalty by testifying against him. His story became more detailed as time passed. His daughter wrote a letter to the Oaklahoma Pardon and Parole Board asking them to save Glossip. She said her father spoke to her about recanting his testimony. But he was afraid of losing his own deal.
Glossip had a reprieve last January when the U.S. Supreme Court reviewed his challenge to the lethal injection protocol. But once they upheld it, a new date for his death was set by the state.
Sister Helen, who serves as Glossip’s spiritual advisor, has created a page with multiple ways people can help.