Execution of death row inmate — who has had 3 'last meals' and 9 scheduled execution dates — blocked by Supreme Court
The Supreme Court blocked the execution of an Oklahoma man on death row on Friday.
The decision came after the state's attorney general said his life should be spared.
Richard Glossip has been incarcerated for over two decades and has faced multiple execution dates.
The US Supreme Court blocked Oklahoma from executing Richard Glossip, a man who has already had three separate "last meals" and faced numerous scheduled executions.
The death row inmate has been involved in a long-standing battle to live after he was incarcerated accused of a 1997 murder-for-hire plot.
The high court put the execution on hold indefinitely after Oklahoma's attorney general said Glossip should not be killed later this month.
Glossip was having his final visit with his wife, Lea Glossip when they were told about the news.
"I yelled out, 'You're kidding!' at first," Glossip told CNN in a telephone interview from Oklahoma State Penitentiary on Friday. "I want to continue to fight. I want to continue to get my message out to people," he said.
Glossip, imprisoned for the last 26 years, thought he was facing the end of his life on May 18. During his incarceration, the 60-year-old has had nine execution dates — three of which applied until he was just hours away from being killed by the state.
In September 2015, prison officials realized they had received the incorrect lethal drug only moments before he was scheduled to be executed. His execution was stayed, and the incident led to a seven-year moratorium on the death penalty in the state, according to the Associated Press.
There have been two separate investigations into the circumstances of Glossip's case, who has repeatedly maintained his innocence. Republican Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond recently said, "Glossip's trial was unfair and unreliable," per the Associated Press.
Various high-profile celebrities have also supported Glossip in his case. "Richard Glossip needs our help urgently! He has been on Oklahoma's death row for 24 years for a crime he did not commit," Kim Kardashian recently tweeted.
"There is nothing more harrowing than the thought of executing a man who the state now admits has never received a fair trial," His attorney Don Knight said in a statement. He added they hope the court will "vacate Mr. Glossip's conviction once and for all."
In 1998, Glossip was convicted and sentenced to death for ordering the murder of his former boss Barry Van Treese. The man who admitted to killing Van Treese, Justin Sneed, was sentenced to life in prison to avoid the death penalty in exchange for his testimony against Glossip.
However, an independent investigation commissioned by Drummond concluded Glossip should be given a new trial due to "multiple and cumulative errors" during the original proceedings, CNN reported.
While the Supreme Court considers the case, Glossip told CNN what he and his wife, an anti-death penalty activist who her married last year, plan to do if he is ever released.
"I've never been on a plane, so they want to get me on a plane and take me somewhere," he said. "And I've never seen the ocean, so we want to go do that."
"I'm here to tell everybody, don't ever put off what you need to get done. Do it now because nobody's promised tomorrow," he added.
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