Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Bulletin: Richard Glossip: Oklahoma; Liliana Segura asks "Why is Oklahoma so eager to kill Richard Glossip tomorrow?, in the "Intercept."..."Pointing out the numerous inconsistencies between Sneed’s new account and his previous statements, Knight used the state’s own words to argue that its star witness against Glossip was himself inherently suspect. “Sneed continues to lie and demonstrate his inability to keep his many lying stories straight,” Knight wrote. “Oklahoma must not execute Mr. Glossip based solely upon the words of this admitted liar, drug abuser, and thief. Moments later, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals released a ruling denying a new hearing for Glossip. His “new” evidence, the justices wrote, “merely expands on theories” raised in previous appeals. “Glossip merely wants more time so he can develop evidence similar” to what he has raised before. The court was sharply divided, 3-2, with two judges, in separate dissents, noting that Glossip’s trial was “deeply flawed,” and that “the state no has no interest in executing an actually innocent man.”
Countdown to Wrongful Conviction Day: Friday, October 2, 2105; 3 days. For information: http://www.aidwyc.org/wcd-2015/
Development: KOCO reports that Richard Glossip are preparing a last minute appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
"Richard Glossip is the death-row prisoner Oklahoma has been trying to kill all year, a man who insists he is innocent. A January execution date was halted by the U.S. Supreme Court in order to consider Glossip’s challenge of the state’s lethal injection protocol. (He lost.) Earlier this month, Glossip came within hours of the gurney, only to receive a two-week stay from the Court of Criminal Appeals so that it could consider new evidence. A critical piece of that evidence was provided by Michael Scott......... Scott, who left prison in 2010, had never really considered that his experience behind bars could save a man’s life. But in August he saw an episode of Dr. Phil featuring Susan Sarandon and Sister Helen Prejean, who have waged a campaign to stop Glossip’s execution. “I realized just how important this information was,” Scott later explained. He contacted Glossip’s attorneys, who interviewed him, put what he said in an affidavit, and requested a stay of execution based in part on his recollections. At the last minute, on September 16, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals complied. Many celebrated the temporary stay — more than 240,000 people have signed a petition to block Glossip’s execution. But for Scott it became a nightmare. Newspapers questioned his credibility and probed his criminal record, publishing his mug shot and details of his drug use. Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater demanded to speak to Scott, even contacting his mother, while dismissing the new evidence as part of a “bullshit PR campaign” by anti-death penalty activists. Scott repeatedly refused to speak to Prater. He was not a state’s witnesses or on trial himself. Nor did Scott owe Prater anything in his failure to abide by the terms of his suspended sentence; Scott’s arrest took place in Rogers County, two hours from Oklahoma City. Yet as Scott sat at the police station last Tuesday, it was Prater who entered the interrogation room. As Scott later described it, Prater made it clear that he had orchestrated his arrest. Now he would be forced to talk to him. Scott’s account is contained in a filing by Glossip’s attorneys, who accused Prater of blatant witness intimidation. Scott told them that he was interrogated about his affidavit and that the questions “seemed designed to confuse or trick” him into contradicting himself. Scott said he did not wish to speak to Prater and the investigator who accompanied him — a man by the name of Eastbrook — without a lawyer, but he also did not feel free to refuse their questions. In fact, having heard reports about people dying in police custody, Scott said, he feared he even might be harmed. According to Scott, Prater and the investigator “even asked him questions about prescription medication that his mother is taking,” which Scott says they could only know about had they conducted a search of their house. It wasn’t just Scott who was apparently targeted: A second man who came forward with similar information on the eve of Glossip’s last scheduled execution, Joseph Tapley, also found himself vulnerable to arrest when the Oklahoma County district attorney’s office moved to revoke his suspended sentence for a DUI, the same day his affidavit was filed, according to FOX 25 in Oklahoma City. Although it is unclear whether Tapley met with Prater, that deal has since been restored......... It was only recently that David Prater enjoyed a reputation as a principled prosecutor. In 2009, he dropped charges against two men who had been sent to death row on the word of an unreliable witness, calling it his ethical duty. In 2012 Prater took the rare step of firing two of his own attorneys for withholding evidence in a first-degree murder trial, saying it was an “easy decision” due to the “gravity of their alleged ethical violation.” The next year he successfully prosecuted a veteran white police officer for shooting an unarmed black 18-year-old man in the back. Such ethical conduct makes Prater’s approach to the Glossip case disturbing to many observers. While one local defense attorney defended Prater’s alleged pursuit of Scott as being “due diligence” in tracking down witnesses, others say the actions, if true, were clearly out of line. A practicing defense attorney with decades of experience in Oklahoma — who once attended fundraisers for Prater, and who asked not to be identified because he still tries cases against him — said that at the very least Prater’s rhetoric in the case has been “improper.” While the attorney did not know enough about Scott’s arrest last week to comment on it, he said that the description harkened back to the kind of vindictive tactics of Prater’s legendary predecessor and former boss, “Cowboy Bob” Macy..........On Monday, with his client’s execution two days away, Knight released a response to an exclusive interview recently given by Justin Sneed to The Frontier, an Oklahoma-based website. In the roughly 25-minute conversation, Sneed contradicts previous versions of his story and introduces new details that were never before mentioned to police or on the stand at either trial. For example, Sneed denies knowing what would motivate Glossip to want Van Treese dead; yet he has previously given numerous motives over the years, among them Glossip’s supposed fear that he would be fired from his job, and his ostensible desire to take over the Best Budget Inn. Pointing out the numerous inconsistencies between Sneed’s new account and his previous statements, Knight used the state’s own words to argue that its star witness against Glossip was himself inherently suspect. “Sneed continues to lie and demonstrate his inability to keep his many lying stories straight,” Knight wrote. “Oklahoma must not execute Mr. Glossip based solely upon the words of this admitted liar, drug abuser, and thief. Moments later, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals released a ruling denying a new hearing for Glossip. His “new” evidence, the justices wrote, “merely expands on theories” raised in previous appeals. “Glossip merely wants more time so he can develop evidence similar” to what he has raised before. The court was sharply divided, 3-2, with two judges, in separate dissents, noting that Glossip’s trial was “deeply flawed,” and that “the state no has no interest in executing an actually innocent man. Glossip’s execution is now set to proceed as scheduled on Wednesday, September 30, at 3 p.m.""