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dead man walking

This man's execution has been put on hold at the last minute as new evidence emerges

The court said it granted the request “in order for this court to give fair consideration” to his claims.

Updated 8.04pm

AN APPEALS COURT has halted the execution of an Oklahoma man with just hours to spare after his lawyers said they had uncovered new evidence, including a fellow inmate’s claim that he overheard another man convicted in the case admit he acted alone.

Richard Eugene Glossip was twice convicted of ordering the killing of Barry Van Treese, who owned the Oklahoma City motel where he worked.

A co-worker who testified against Glossip, Justin Sneed, admitted beating Van Treese with a baseball bat and was sentenced to life in prison.

Glossip (52) had been set for execution at 3pm today, but the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals agreed to delay his lethal injection just before noon.

Glossip’s lawyers said they obtained a signed affidavit from another inmate, Michael Scott, who claims he heard Sneed say “he set Richard Glossip up, and that Richard Glossip didn’t do anything”.

The court said it granted the last-minute request “in order for this court to give fair consideration” to Glossip’s claims. The court rescheduled his execution for 30 September.

Republican Gov. Mary Fallin, who has rejected calls to delay Glossip’s execution, said her office would respect “whatever decision the court makes”.

Nancy Vollertsen Nancy Vollertsen holds a photo of her brother, Greg Wilhoit, who spent five years on Oklahoma's death row before being exonerated, during a rally to stop the execution of Richard Glossip in Oklahoma City. Apexchange Apexchange

“As I have repeatedly said, court is the proper place for Richard Glossip and his legal team to argue the merits of his case,” Fallin said.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the Van Treese family who has suffered greatly during this long ordeal.

Glossip’s daughter, Ericka Glossip-Hodge, said she and several family members were on their way to McAlester prison when told of the court decision.

“Everybody is freaking out. We’re really excited,” Glossip-Hodge said. “We actually got off the road and pulled over.”

During Glossip’s trials, prosecutors alleged Glossip masterminded the killing because he was afraid Van Treese was about to fire him for embezzling money and poorly managing the motel.

Two juries convicted Glossip and sentenced him to death. His execution would have been the first in Oklahoma since a sharply divided US Supreme Court upheld the state’s three-drug lethal injection formula in June.

Richard Glossip Apexchange Apexchange

Glossip’s case garnered international attention after Hollywood actress Susan Sarandon, who played a nun in the movie “Dead Man Walking”, took up his cause. The woman Sarandon portrayed in the movie, anti-death penalty advocate Sister Helen Prejean, has served as Glossip’s spiritual adviser and frequently visited him in prison.

Yesterday Glossip maintained his innocence during a brief telephone interview with The Associated Press. He said he hoped his life would be spared, and that he remained optimistic.

“They’ll never take that from me,” Glossip told the AP.

I won’t let it bring me down. If you’ve got to go out … you don’t want to be bitter and angry about it.

Glossip’s new execution date is one week before the scheduled execution of Benjamin Cole. After the botched execution of inmate Clayton Lockett last spring, a state review committee recommended that at least a week pass between executions.

Originally published 9.56am

Read: Susan Sarandon is trying to save this man from the death penalty. Here’s why…

Read: Outrage after 14-year-old taken from school in handcuffs – for bringing a clock to class

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