In rare move, Supreme Court halts Oklahoma execution
The Supreme Court on Friday granted a rare stay of execution in the case of Richard Glossip, the Oklahoma death row inmate who the state's attorney general now says may be innocent.
Glossip's execution was scheduled for May 18.
One of the nation's best known death row inmates, Glossip has adamantly maintained his innocence after being convicted in a 1997 murder-for-hire killing of his boss.
Glossip's been scheduled to death three separate times.
Last month, he was denied clemency by the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board in a 2-2 vote despite an outpouring of support from celebrities, including Kim Kardashian, and local politicians.
Glossip told the board, "I'm not a murderer, and I don't deserve to die for this."
The board's decision prompted his attorneys to again ask the Supreme Court for an emergency stay of his sentence.
"Mr. Glossip should not have been convicted of murder, a point the State now concedes. His case has generated conflict and controversy, including at this Court. But he comes to this Court as an individual who, whatever his shortcomings and mistakes, has done nothing to justify his execution," his attorneys wrote in court filing.
Republican Attorney General Gentner Drummond, who appeared before the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board to advocate for Glossip's clemency, also wrote to the U.S. Supreme Court that Glossip shouldn't be executed.
"In light of new factual developments unearthed in an independent investigation and raised on post-conviction review, the State of Oklahoma recently made the difficult decision to confess error and support vacating the conviction of Richard Glossip," the state attorney general said in a filing.
An independent review ordered by Drummond found some evidence was either lost or destroyed, or not provided to Glossip's defense team.
"Absent this Court's intervention, an execution will move forward under circumstances where the Attorney General has already confessed error -- a result that would be unthinkable," Drummond wrote to the court.
Glossip's attorney Don Knight said the justices did "the right thing" in stopping his "unlawful execution."
"There is nothing more harrowing than the thought of executing a man who the State now admits has never received a fair trial. Thankfully, for the time being, Mr. Glossip is out of peril," he said.
In rare move, Supreme Court halts Oklahoma execution originally appeared on abcnews.go.com