OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - An Oklahoma appeals court on Monday narrowly denied a death row inmate's last-minute request for a new hearing and ordered that his execution may proceed.
In a 3-2 decision, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals denied Richard Glossip's request for an evidentiary hearing and an emergency stay of execution. The court ruled the state can proceed with Glossip's execution, which is scheduled for Wednesday at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester.
Glossip, 52, was scheduled to be executed on Sept. 16 for ordering the beating death of a motel owner, despite his claims that he was framed by the actual killer, Justin Sneed, who is serving a life sentence. But just hours before he was set to receive a lethal injection, the court granted Glossip a two-week reprieve after his attorneys claimed they had new evidence that he was innocent, including another inmate's claim that he overheard Sneed admit to framing Glossip.
But the court ruled the new evidence simply expands on theories that were already raised on his original appeals.
"This evidence merely builds upon evidence previously presented to this court," Judge David Lewis wrote in his opinion.
Glossip's execution will be the first in Oklahoma since a sharply divided U.S. Supreme Court upheld the state's three-drug lethal injection formula in June. Glossip, the lead plaintiff in the case, argued that the sedative midazolam violated the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment because it didn't adequately render an inmate unconscious before the second and third drugs were administered.
Glossip's case attracted international attention after actress Susan Sarandon, who portrayed nun and death penalty opponent Sister Helen Prejean in the movie "Dead Man Walking," took up his cause. Prejean has served as Glossip's spiritual adviser and frequently visited him in prison.
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