Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Bulletin: Richard Glossip: Death Row; Execution set for tomorrow; Wednesday September 16. Oklahoma district attorney reported by The Guardian to have "accused Glossip’s attorneys who claim to have new evidence to prove innocence of trying to abolish death penalty in ‘bullshit PR campaign'."

Countdown to Wrongful Conviction Day:  Friday, October 2,  2105; 17 days. For information: http://www.aidwyc.org/wcd-2015/

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: An Oklahoma district attorney is reported by the Guardian to have described efforts to introduce new evidence that could exonerate Richard Glossip as “a bullshit PR campaign” and "spreading a bunch of garbage." I can't help thinking about Marty Stroud, the prosecutor who far too late realized  the ugly effect his own arrogance and insatiable drive to win  the case: As Stroud wrote to the Shreveport Times; "This case is another example of the arbitrariness of the death penalty. I now realize, all too painfully, that as a young 33-year-old prosecutor, I was not capable of making a decision that could have led to the killing of another human being..........At the time this case was tried there was evidence that would have cleared Glenn Ford. The easy and convenient argument is that the prosecutors did not know of such evidence, thus they were absolved of any responsibility for the wrongful conviction. I can take no comfort in such an argument. As a prosecutor and officer of the court, I had the duty to prosecute fairly. While I could properly strike hard blows, ethically I could not strike foul ones.........The jury was all white, Mr. Ford was African-American. Potential African-American jurors were struck with little thought about potential discrimination because at that time a claim of racial discrimination in the selection of jurors could not be successful unless it could be shown that the office had engaged in a pattern of such conduct in other cases. And I knew this was a very burdensome requirement that had never been met in the jurisprudence of which I was aware. I also participated in placing before the jury dubious testimony from a forensic pathologist that the shooter had to be left handed, even though there was no eye witness to the murder. And yes, Glenn Ford was left handed.All too late, I learned that the testimony was pure junk science at its evil worst.......... In my rebuttal argument during the penalty phase of the trial, I mocked Mr. Ford, stating that this man wanted to stay alive so he could be given the opportunity to prove his innocence. I continued by saying this should be an affront to each of you jurors, for he showed no remorse, only contempt for your verdict. How totally wrong was I. I speak only for me and no one else. I apologize to Glenn Ford for all the misery I have caused him and his family. I apologize to the family of Mr. Rozeman for giving them the false hope of some closure. I apologize to the members of the jury for not having all of the story that should have been disclosed to them. I apologize to the court in not having been more diligent in my duty to ensure that proper disclosures of any exculpatory evidence had been provided to the defense. “Looking back at that period of time in my life, I was not a very nice person, and I had no business trying a death case for the state. My unintended victim, Glenn Ford. Glenn Ford deserves every penny owed to him under the compensation statute. This case is another example of the arbitrariness of the death penalty. I now realize, all too painfully, that as a young 33-year-old prosecutor, I was not capable of making a decision that could have led to the killing of another human being. No one should be given the ability to impose a sentence of death in any criminal proceeding. We are simply incapable of devising a system that can fairly and impartially impose a sentence of death because we are all fallible human beings. The clear reality is that the death penalty is an anathema to any society that purports to call itself civilized. It is an abomination that continues to scar the fibers of this society and it will continue to do so until this barbaric penalty is outlawed. Until then, we will live in a land that condones state assisted revenge and that is not justice in any form or fashion. I end with the hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford. But, I am also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it." My post on Stroud's agonizing outpouring can be found at:


Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;

"An Oklahoma district attorney has denounced claims that a death row inmate scheduled to die this week is innocent as “a bullshit PR campaign”, saying that legal representatives for the condemned prisoner have failed to produce any new documentation supporting their argument. Attorneys for Richard Glossip, who are appealing to Governor Mary Fallin for a 60-day stay of execution, held a press conference at the Oklahoma state capitol on Monday to present new information they claim supports efforts to exonerate him. Glossip – whose high-profile supporters include former senators, the actor Susan Sarandon and anti-death penalty activist Sister Helen Prejean – is scheduled to die by lethal injection on Wednesday for the 1997 murder of his boss, Barry Van Treese. “All they are trying to do is abolish the death penalty in the state of Oklahoma and this country by spreading a bunch of garbage,” Oklahoma County district attorney David Prater told the local Fox 25 TV station after attending Monday’s press conference. Prater, who did not prosecute Glossip, told Fox 25 he believes Glossip is guilty and said the man’s attorneys have refused to hand over to him any of the evidence they presented on Monday. The evidence produced on Monday by defense attorney Don Knight includes a sworn affidavit from a man who claimed to have heard a confession from the man on whose testimony Glossip was convicted, Justin Sneed. It also includes a statement from another man who claims the prosecution’s argument that Glossip controlled Sneed was false. Sneed is currently serving a sentence of life without parole at Joseph Harp Correctional Center, a medium-security prison in Lexington, Oklahoma. Glossip was convicted twice of Van Treese’s death, once in 1998 and again in 2004 after his first verdict was thrown out for ineffective council. Richard Allan Barrett, a man who claims to have been a friend of Glossip’s brother, Bobby, and a drug dealer at the Best Budget Inn the year Van Treese was killed, claimed Sneed had regularly used robbery to finance a methamphetamine addiction that was more severe than prosecutors had admitted."...Knight said attention to their investigation was producing witnesses that exonerate Glossip, but would benefit from more time. Fallon’s office has so far consistently denied efforts to secure a stay of execution."