Why Even Our Conservative-Dominated Supreme Courtroom Must Cease Richard Glossip’s Execution
The destiny of Richard Glossip, whose execution is scheduled for Might 18, now rests with america Supreme Courtroom. Glossip is asking the Courtroom to remain his execution to permit him time to current it with proof in regards to the miscarriages of justice which have marked the dealing with of his case.
Whereas the Courtroom’s present conservative majority is notoriously hostile to even probably the most clearly meritorious efforts to delay or cease executions, even they need to see the folly of letting Glossip’s execution proceed.
Doing so is not only in Glossip’s curiosity. In what his lawyer rightly labels an “unprecedented” alliance, an uncommon mixture of advocates has advised the Supreme Courtroom that permitting Glossip to be put to demise would do a grave damage to the state of Oklahoma, the place he’s being held, and to the values on the coronary heart of this nation’s dedication to the rule of legislation.
Glossip was convicted and sentenced to death for his position in an alleged murder-for-hire plot. Since then, two completely different impartial investigations of his case have been carried out. Each elevate severe doubts concerning the equity and reliability of Glossip’s conviction.
The primary, which was accomplished final yr, concluded that “no affordable juror listening to the whole document would have convicted Richard Glossip of first-degree homicide” and that his trial could not “present a foundation for the federal government to take the lifetime of Richard E. Glossip.”
The second, which was commissioned by Oklahoma Lawyer Common Gentner Drummond and accomplished final month, offers a devastating account of prosecutorial misconduct, ineffective help of counsel, and quite a few different violations of Glossip’s rights.
But on April 20, the Oklahoma Courtroom of Felony Appeals decided to let Glossip be executed anyway. And since then the state’s Pardon and Parole Board has denied his request for clemency and Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt has said that he is not going to intervene even to delay the execution.
On April 26, 2023, Glossip’s attorneys filed anUnopposed Application for Stay of Execution with the U.S. Supreme Courtroom. As their software notes, “The Oklahoma Lawyer Common, counting on his personal impartial investigation into Mr. Glossip’s case, has lately joined Mr. Glossip’s request to put aside his conviction. Grave issues concerning the reliability of Mr. Glossip’s conviction have plagued his case since his 2004 retrial.”
It quotes from the report of the investigation Drummond commissioned. “The Impartial Report concluded that the prosecution’s withholding proof, undermined any hope the ‘State can have faith within the course of and end result.’ Glossip’s keep software notes that the report stated that the “cumulative impact of errors, omissions, misplaced proof, and doable misconduct can’t be underestimated.”
“Absent a keep of execution,” Glossip’s software continues, “not solely will Petitioner meet irreparable hurt, the State of Oklahoma, too, will undergo grave hurt from its Division of Corrections executing an individual whom Oklahoma has concluded ought to by no means have been convicted of homicide, not to mention sentenced to die, within the first place.”
What hurt would Oklahoma undergo if it executes Glossip?
Given the intense issues in his trial and retrial, placing him to demise would be incompatible with the state’s duty to afford due course of to these accused of crimes. It might undermine, because it ought to, confidence within the legitimacy of capital punishment and would implicate all who’re concerned in an act that, as former Supreme Courtroom Justice Harry Blackmun once said, “comes perilously near easy homicide.”
Lawyer Common Drummond’s submitting supporting Glossip’s stay application acknowledges these harms.
Drummond notes that “the prosecutor’s position transcends that of an adversary: he ‘is the consultant not of an atypical celebration to an argument, however of a sovereignty … whose curiosity … in a prison prosecution just isn’t that it shall win a case, however that justice shall be performed.’” Drummond appropriately argues that “the federal government “wins its level every time justice is finished [to] its residents within the courts.” And he continues, “That solemn obligation is at its zenith in a capital case, the place the stakes may hardly be larger and the results of an unjust end result irreversible.”
Drummond advised the Courtroom that “No matter is the right course when the federal government confesses error on a pure query of legislation, there’s little scope for second guessing a state’s highest legislation enforcement officer when she or he has misplaced confidence in a conviction the state has procured…. That’s notably true in a capital case.” And he agrees with Glossip’s assertion concerning the hurt Oklahoma would undergo, saying that “the general public curiosity is clearly served by not executing a person after the State has concluded that the conviction can’t be sustained.”
One other temporary supporting Glossip’s software for a keep of execution was submitted by 30 current and former state and federal prosecutors. It reinforces Drummond’s level. “It’s simply as constitutionally unacceptable,” the temporary argues, “for the federal government to place a responsible particular person in jail based mostly on false proof as it’s to have an harmless particular person undergo the identical destiny.”
The prosecutors notice:
Nowhere within the Structure or within the Declaration of Independence, nor for that matter within the Federalist or in another writing of the Founding Fathers, can one discover a single utterance that might justify a call by any oath-beholden civil servant to look the opposite method when confronted by the actual chance of being complicit within the wrongful use of false proof to safe a conviction. It’s for these causes that the prosecution just isn’t the consultant of an atypical celebration to a lawsuit, however of a sovereign with a duty not simply to win, however to see that justice is finished.
As well as, Oklahoma State Rep. Kevin McDugle, a long-time demise penalty supporter, filed an amicus brief wherein he eloquently defined the state’s curiosity in stopping the sort of miscarriages of justice which have occurred within the Glossip case.
“Refusing to execute the harmless,” McDugle tells the Courtroom, “differentiates america from a few of historical past’s most brutal and authoritarian regimes. Within the Thirties, Chinese language communists reasoned, ‘Higher to kill 100 harmless individuals than let one really responsible particular person go free.’ … On this nation we count on higher.”
“The integrity of our justice system—and our security—,” McDugle continues, “relies on making certain that correct procedures are adopted in arresting and prosecuting people for crimes, and that the individuals we punish are literally responsible of the crimes for which they’re accused. The founders knew that no utility could possibly be derived from placing an harmless particular person to demise, and actually extra hurt could be brought about to the safety of our democracy. The founders would recoil on the execution of an harmless particular person like Richard Glossip.”
The briefs submitted within the Glossip case all counsel that it could be “unthinkable,” to borrow Drummond’s phrase, for the Supreme Courtroom to permit his execution to go ahead when Oklahoma’s chief legislation enforcement officer “has already confessed error.” We are able to solely hope that even our deeply politicized Courtroom will heed that message and stop the unthinkable from taking place to Richard Glossip and the State of Oklahoma.
Source / Picture: verdict.justia.com
Donation for Author
Buy author a coffee