He Has Eaten 3 Last Meals, Is Fighting to Avoid No. 4

'Rolling Stone' looks at the case of Richard Glossip in Oklahoma
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 5, 2021 1:30 PM CDT
He Has Eaten 3 Last Meals, Is Fighting to Avoid No. 4
This undated file photo provided by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections shows death row inmate Richard Glossip.   (Oklahoma Department of Corrections via AP, File)

How close has Richard Glossip come to execution? He has eaten the same "last meal" three different times, writes Brenna Ehrlich at Rolling Stone. For the record: fish and chips, a Baconator sandwich from Wendy's, pizza, and a strawberry shake. Each time, Glossip has won a late stay of execution over controversy surrounding Oklahoma's use of execution drugs. Once, Glossip was just hours away from death when the state realized it had the wrong drug on hand. However, his luck may run out early next year, though his lawyer is working on getting him yet another reprieve. Ehrlich's story digs into Glossip's fight to stave off execution for himself as well as other state inmates over the drugs, but it also takes an in-depth look at the murder for which he is imprisoned. Advocates including Sister Helen Prejean of Dead Man Walking fame insist he's innocent.

Back in 1997, 18-year-old Justin Sneed beat Barry Van Treese to death with a baseball bat. That much is certain, and Sneed is serving a life sentence. However, the teen said Glossip arranged for him to kill Van Treese, their boss at a Best Budget Inn. Glossip's legal team say detectives guided Sneed to say that, and by doing so Sneed avoided the death penalty. Glossip's lawyer also says his client received inept representation when first convicted, and that original attorney, now a former attorney, acknowledged to makers of a documentary on the case that he was "terrible." Glossip's team is convinced they can prove his innocence. The problem is that Glossip was denied clemency in 2014, and inmates usually don't get a second hearing. "I try to encourage people that there’s always hope," says Glossip. "Look at me, I survived three executions.” (Read the full story.)

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