Death Penalty

Oklahoma Is Going to Execute a Plausibly Innocent Man Today

Despite significant doubts about Richard Glossip's guilt, Oklahoma is moving forward with its plan to execute him Wednesday afternoon.

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||| Richard Glossip's Mugshot, 2004
Source: Oklahoma DOC

At 3 p.m. Wednesday, Oklahoma will administer a lethal cocktail of drugs into the arm of Richard Glossip, a man who is likely innocent of the crime he was condemned for. A number of well known figures and celebrities, including Susan Sarandon (who appeared on Dr. Phil to talk about Glossip's case), former University of Oklahoma football coach Barry Switzer, and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), have publicly pleaded with Gov. Mary Fallin to spare Glossip's life.

Some brief history: Glossip was tried twice, convicted, and sentenced to death for the 1997 murder of his boss, motel owner Barry Van Treese. The state argued that it was a murder for hire, committed by 19-year-old Justin Sneed at the behest of Glossip. Sneed, also an employee of the hotel, admitted to beating Van Treese to death with a baseball bat, but claimed Glossip ordered him to do it in exchange for money and the opportunity to manage one of Van Treese's motels.

However, there was no corroborating evidence tying Glossip to the crime—no fingerprints, no DNA, nothing. He was convicted and sentenced to death based upon the testimony of Sneed alone. What's worse, there's video evidence, which Glossip's lawyer failed to introduce to the court and therefore the jury never saw, that shows Detective Bob Bemo pushing Sneed to implicate Glossip. In exchange for this testimony, Sneed was able to avoid the death penalty.

Liliana Segura and Jordan Smith at The Intercept summarized what's on the tape:

"Had members of the jury watched the tape, they would have heard [Detective] Bemo tell Sneed that before he decided whether or not to waive his rights and talk to the cops, he should consider the situation. "Before you make your mind up on anything," Bemo cautioned him, "I want you to hear some of the things that we've got to say to you."

Sneed was read his rights, and then Bemo leaned in: "We know this involves more than just you, okay?" Sneed told Bemo that he didn't "really know what to say about" what happened to Van Treese. Well, Bemo said, "everybody is saying you're the one that did this and you did it by yourself and I don't believe that. You know Rich is under arrest, don't you?" No, Sneed said, he didn't know that. "So he's the one," Bemo replied. "He's putting it on you the worst."

If Sneed didn't want to talk about the involvement of anyone else, Bemo said he would be happy to walk Sneed into the jail and book him for Van Treese's murder, "and you would be facing this thing on your own," Bemo said. "And I don't think it's just you."

Sneed obliged, confessing to the murder and blaming Glossip for it."

Even Justin Sneed's daughter, O'Ryan Justine Sneed, wrote a letter to the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board last year saying she believed her dad's conscience was eating at him and that he had begun to consider recanting his testimony. She asked the board to spare Glossip's life.

So why is this man, whose guilt has now been brought into question, still facing execution Wednesday? Because Glossip has exhausted all of his appeals. Since he was convicted and his sentence upheld multiple times, the burden of proof shifts from guilt to innocence. Before his conviction, the burden of proof was on the state—it had to prove that Glossip was guilty of hiring Sneed to murder Van Treese. Now, the burden of proof has shifted to Glossip; he must now show "actual innocence," which is a much higher bar to reach than "reasonable doubt" of guilt.

Unless Glossip's lawyers are able to find a piece of evidence that proves Glossip's "actual innocence," it is likely that Oklahoma will kill him Wednesday at 3 p.m.

There are two other possible means in which Glossip's execution may be halted tomorrow, both of which seem very unlikely. First, the U.S. Supreme Court could intervene on the basis of innocence, which seems unlikely since his lawyers do not have evidence that proves his actual innocence.

His very last hope is to have his death sentence commuted to life in prison by Gov. Mary Fallin. However, she's already indicated she will not be exercising that executive power. The likelihood of this happening decreased further Tuesday evening when Falin rejected Glossip's request for a stay of execution and issued this statement.

Glossip's case will not be the first time a man has been executed for a crime he likely did not commit. In 2004, Texas executed Cameron Todd Willingham for setting fire to his home and killing his three daughters—a fire scientists say was started accidentally by a faulty electrical wire in the attic. There's also the case of Carlos DeLuna, executed by the state of Texas in 1989 for a crime many believe was committed by a similar looking man from a nearby neighborhood.

Many convictions that have resulted in death sentences have relied, at least in part, on witness testimony, or "snitch" testimony. In 2005, the Northwestern Law School's Center on Wrongful Convictions found that false testimony was the leading cause of known wrongful convictions in death penalty cases. False testimony was used in nearly half of all death row exonerations at that time.

So, this is our justice system in 2015, folks. Despite all we know about wrongful convictions, and the fact that a likely innocent person has been put to death before, we still require a person who is about to be murdered by the state to prove his innocence, not just reasonable doubt of guilt. States are so eager to administer the highest form of punishment—death—that they're willing to rely on the shoddiest of evidence and overlook even the most glaring examples of possible innocence to get the job done.

*Updated Wednesday, September 16, at 1:15 p.m.: The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals issued an emergency stay of execution just four hours before Glossip was scheduled to be executed in order "to give fair consideration to the materials included in his subsequent application for post-conviction relief […]". The full court order can be read here. His execution has been rescheduled to September 30, 2015.

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  1. Well, this is horrific.

    1. Can’t we just execute a progressive in his place? How about Sean Penn? Isn’t he supposed to be on death row anyway? They can think of it like carbon tax credits or something. A green initiative. Just mulch Penn afterwards.

    2. I think we need the names of the original and all subsequent jurors posted to reddit and FB.

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  2. Quick, execute him before he’s freed and sues the state for millions! Justice.

    1. Something I find disturbing in your post is that a buddy and I were (re-)discussing an unrelated matter a few days ago and we arrived at the same sense of “utilitarian justice” as you have described.

      “Faith in the System must be Inculcated and Reinforced at every opportunity (to defend our positions within the system)” was another point, among others.

  3. Even if you believe that government is the name for the people we choose to kill together, this is the kind of case that should compel any reasonable human being to oppose capital punishment.

    1. There’s no greater crime than making a fool out of the state.

    2. Agreed. I’ll admit that there are most likely people out there who deserve death in judgement. But we’re just so very bad at figuring out who those people are. We need to stop trying.

  4. “at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.” – Deut 19:15 (see also Matt. 18:16)

    1. How stupid do you have to be to convict a man to death based solely on the word of a confessed cold-blooded killer? I mean, I know DA’s can be convincing and all, but did anyone on that jury have an IQ over 75? Did any of them stop, for even a moment, to think for themselves?

      “Whelp, dude says other dude hired him. Cops and DA agree. Seems legit. Fry the basterd.”

      1. but did anyone on that jury have an IQ over 75

        Oklahoma dude.

      2. I agree, which leads me to conclude that it was more than just that one testimony that did him in.

        Not saying he’s guilty, but this story didn’t exactly provide a detailed analysis to support an argument that one key witness got the conviction.

        If we’re going to get self righteous about the state, let’s remember that the media and advocates can be just as lopsided in their portrayal of the events.

  5. Minor note; bringing up Suzan Sarendon’s opinion of anything not having directly to do with acting is more likely to persuade me that the opposite is true than not. She is a powerful actress, and, based on those political opinions that I have run into over the years, has the political and historical sense of a concussed bee.

    1. For some reason, I thought she was Tim Robbin’s mom.

    2. She is indeed a stunned cunt

    3. I don’t care for her politics but I imagine she gets involved in things like this because of her work on Dead Man Walking. In cases such as this, I’d welcome anyone with a soapbox to get on it.

      1. Maybe. I suppose. But her name poisons this cause for me, at least a little. Do I believe that The State is capable of the kind of callousness described? Yes. Which is why I think police and prosecutors who have suborned perjury to pace a man at risk of his life should be tried for attempted murder. But I don’t know of a single other cause that Sarandon espouses where she is on the correct side. She really is a litmus test; if she believes something (acting issues aside) it’s probably bilge.

        1. This isn’t quite like finding out Jack Nicholson is a Yankees fan. A man’s life is at stake here. It’s worth a bit more than a “friend of my enemy” analysis.

    4. The reason she’s doing it is because Sister Helen Prejean, the woman whom Susan Sarandon played in Dead Man Walking, is campaigning against it. FWIW, of course.

    5. Ditto.

    6. Even a broken clock etc.

      1. Well, not a digital one.

    7. I was going to say the same thing. Susan Sarandon is the anti-persuasion. Just leave her name out next time. If the case can’t stand without “Susan Sarandon says so!” it’s not much of a case.

    8. Agree on the Susan Sarandon part. She’s a nutcase, a great actress, but a nutcase. Also, the involvement of Northwestern Law School’s Center on Wrongful Convictions is a red flag. They have done as much harm as good with their Innocence Project. http://dailynorthwestern.com/2…..0-million/

      1. That’s the problem with the whole “Innocence” movement. Yes, the State, in the persons of police and prosecutors, cuts too many corners and persues a “win” at the expense of justice far too often. And then some Innocence advocate will take up the “cause” of some prick who is almost certainly guilty. Like Mumia. Everything I’ve read about the jerk indicates that any irregularities at his trials were largely a result of his grandstanding and determination to disrupt the process. Radly Balko, hardly a Right Wing Cop Lover, has said that he appears to be as guilty as a cat in a goldfish bowl.

        Or Alger Hiss, who the Liberal Intellectuals still treat as a Martyr to Right Wing paranoia, even after we have the KBG records that show he worked for them.

        This is why the Right has stopped listening. This is why so many of them back the cops pretty much without question. Too many Lefty pash-notes to mass murdering swine like Che who had a nice line in Revolutionary patter. Too many ‘Causes’ like the Black Panthers, who turn out to be unrepentant thugs.

        And if you are looking to me for answers, other than try to wade through the bullshit to get to the real cases of injustice, I got nothin’.

        1. ^^^This

    9. Where is Mike Farrell in all this?

  6. Fallin said Glossip had years to present any new evidence and delaying his execution would simply postpone the administration of justice.

    “Richard Glossip was first convicted of murder and sentenced to death over 17 years ago,” said Fallin. “He has had over 6,000 days to present new evidence. Postponing his execution an additional sixty days does nothing but delay justice for the family of Mr. Van Treese.”

    And?

    1. Postponing his execution an additional sixty days does nothing but delay justice for the family of Mr. Van Treese

      How long is justice delayed when you execute an innocent man?

      Alternatively, how long will we delay justice for the family of Mr. Glossip?

      1. “How long is justice delayed when you execute an innocent man?

        Alternatively, how long will we delay justice for the family of Mr. Glossip?”

        Clearly, “some guy”, you should learn to hearken to the wise words and just decisions of the men and women in positions of enlightened authority rather than allow the stirrings of anti-government sentiment to cloud your appropriate paradigm of thought.

        Justice is blind, and we recommend you hearken to His/Her/Xe’s example.

  7. I wonder what Officer Bemo thinks about his handiwork.

    1. He’s probably retired in Havasu, and not giving it a second thought.

    2. He wouldn’t have done what he did if he wasn’t happy with it. He got a conviction, pumped up the department’s and his stats, and got to feel like he outsmarted a 19-year-old who beat someone to death.

      Sounds like a cop’s wet dream to me. Or any other sociopath’s wet dream.

      1. That’s not what you said yours were about.

        1. You know, I told you about those because I thought you were cool, but apparently keeping secrets isn’t your strong point. Nice job.

          1. Secrets? Dude, you already told the Terry Michael story in the other thread.

            1. Oh, so there’s another thing I told you in confidence because I thought you were trustworthy that you gave up? I’m starting to see why so many people don’t tend to like you very much.

              1. And now you’re going to pretend not to know I’m the worst.

                I’m hurt, guy. I’m really hurt now.

                1. An actual human being would be hurt, Nicole. But I guess you’re just showing your true colors at this point.

                  1. And now look who’s telling secrets. For shame.

                    You’ve heard of “shame,” right?

                    1. That’s rich, Nicole, especially coming from you; no, particularly coming from you. You don’t even believe in shame, but you certainly aren’t above using it to score points.

              2. I’m a little curious why Nikki is the worst. It begs the question, of whether its because she’s an editor in some capacious.

                1. It’s way too early to be drinking that heavily, CS.

    3. Probably off with Finn and Jake playing Frog.

  8. In exchange for this testimony, Sneed was able to avoid the death penalty.

    No incentive there to falsely implicate someone else’s involvement, none.

    1. I don’t have an ethical problem with the death penalty in principle, I accept the Libertarian objections to it in practice, which leaves me torn on the issue generally.

      I’m basically opposed to applying it to “masterminds”, though. I personally think that people willing to commit murder for hire are bigger threats to society, and basically more reprehensible, than people unwilling to get their hands dirty. Ethically, assuming we were certain that everything the prosecution asserted here was true, I’d say Sneed deserved the death penalty, and Glossip life in prison. The inherent unreliability of testimony in such matters is just a further reason to, at the least, commute Glossip’s sentence in this case.

      1. I’m 100% for the death penalty. In fact, I think it should be employed more often. But not on circumstantial evidence or flimsy, questionable testimony. It should be reserved for cases where there is zero question of guilt, or the heinousness of the crime. Serial killers, traitors, hit men, extremely violent pedophiles, etc.. And it should never be invoked if there is any question of guilt.

  9. However, there was no corroborating evidence tying Glossip to the crime?no fingerprints, no DNA, nothing.

    Not for nothing but if he’s being killed for hiring out the murder than this lack of physical evidence doesn’t really exonerated the guy. That’s why you hire out the job.

    1. According to the governor’s office, she’s not interested in = staying his execution because he’s been proven guilty of helping transport the body and dispose of all the evidence, presumably based on the recanted word of the convicted murderer and without any evidence tying him to that crime. I guess that’s just how good he was at disposing of the evidence.

      1. Ah, that makes more sense, I gathered from the article that he was convicted of hiring out the murder not helping in any way.

      2. OK, if he was supposed to be involved with disposing the body there should be physical evidence associated with that.

        1. Who needs actual objective physical proof of the thing when you have obviously coerced testimony from an admitted murderer?

          Seriously, why even bother with this charade? Cops can convict a man by dangling the carrot of leniency in front of another man, and secure a death warrant for the former by sparing the latter. We’ve established cops have really only a perfunctory role in securing confessions, so let’s just let the accused compile lists of coconspirators, have the shitbrained constables round them up, and we’ll put them all on trial. I’m pretty sure there’s no reason why we wouldn’t let the word of one accused person stand as evidence of another accused person’s guilt without anything to corroborate their accusation. Certainly no historical events which occurred in Massachusetts a couple hundred years ago.

    2. I was wondering why that was brought up. If he hired Sneed to do a murder there might be physical evidence a transaction took place, but otherwise it just seems “DNA” is a magical incantation to anti-death penalty activists.

    3. I think the case here is that there was no real evidence he hired it out– only relying on the dodgy testimony of someone who himself was trying to avoid the DP.

      Reasonable doubt etc.

  10. Glossip’s case will not be the first time a man has been executed for a crime he likely did not commit

    NO FUCKING WAY!?!?!?

    1. INORITE?!

  11. Imprisoning everyone for decades is a heck of a lot more horrific of a thing than murdering a handful of possibly not guilty folks now and then. Heck, lengthy confinement in a modern prison is easily an abominably excessive punishment which not only degrades the convict but also the prison guards and to a lesser extent everyone in the community, regardless whether the convict is actually guilty of anything. It’s better that a dozen innocent men get put to death than that hundreds of thousands of guilty men get locked in cages for decades. I’d say, better for everyone, but the innocent men that got killed are in an unassailable special position to disagree with me, which is only emphasised by the fact we can’t arsk them because they are dead.

      1. Agile’s less-intelligent cousin?

        1. Maybe it’s the beer but…I laughed.

      2. Even if it’s serious there is one hell of a false dichotomy involved.

  12. If you haven’t done anything wrong…

  13. A number of well known figures and celebrities, including Susan Sarandon

    Stop right there. Stop. Right. There. Stop. Fucking stop.

    1. Yep, he’s got the wrong sort on his side. String him up.

      1. Right. That’s exactly what he was saying.

      2. Celebrities give every cause more gravitas.

      3. My favorite is Sean Penn, Sarandon prot?g?, telling me everything is A-FUCKING-OK under Chavez. It really went miles towards putting my doubts to rest.

        1. Wasn’t that Alec Baldwin? Or does Alec love some other socialist dictator?

          1. There’s always Dennis Rodman and the Kim family.

    2. Said it above. She’s doing it for Helen Prejean (the woman Sarandon played in Dead Man Walking). She’s a much more public face than Sister Prejean and can get the issue more attention. I have no problem with it.

      1. Agreed. Jenny McCarthy has done Yeoman’s work in bringing attention to vaccines causing autism.

        1. I can’t tell a serious post from a poe any longer.

          1. If someone starts their argument with [well-known celebrity says], it’s best to not take it seriously.

            If you’re going to bring my attention to a cause, it’s best to litter the road with facts and arguments, not with headshots and celebrity testimonials.

    3. You have problems with Susan Sarandon, but not Barry Switzer?

      I’m not going to sugar coat it, but I don’t think much of Susan herself. However she is like the president of mensa compared to Barry.

      Sadly, more yahoos in OK are going to be swayed by Switzer’s support than anything else.

      1. The yahoos in OK are too busy noodlin to care about this issue.

      2. I guarantee you Susan Sarandon is dumber than Barry Switzer.

  14. I no longer understand why any thinking human being can be in favor of the death penalty. I understand that some people are monsters. But that doesn’t mean the state should have anything to do with putting them to death.

    1. The answer I get most often to that question is some variation on “some people need killt” which, I mean, go fuck yourself.

    2. Sure, instead the taxpayer should subsidize their incarceration for 40+ years. Freedom!

      1. Ah, so murder is a cost-cutting measure.

        1. Actually, no. With all the appeals and legal proceedings leading up to the execution, it’s actually substantially cheaper to let them sit in a cell until they die of old age.

          1. Also, if people are so worried about the cost of imprisonment, then let’s talk about releasing people who don’t belong there in the first place, like drug users, drug dealers, prostitutes, pimps, johns, etc etc etc.

            1. Yes. Prisons should be reserved for those who are dangerous and pose a threat to others. Not for people who committed victimless crimes. Plus, get rid of the prison unions and pay the guards the market rate for their labor.

            2. Oh right, now you’re going to convince me that John shouldn’t be locked up.

            3. I’d be all for abolishing prisons.

              1. Then what do you do to punish criminals?

                1. What they did before prisons; execution, flogging, branding, mutilation, exile…

          2. Agreed that death penalty costs outweigh life in prison, but true justice wold remove death penalty in all but most heinous and proven beyond all doubt, and appeals now afforded to those facing death penalty should also be given to anyone with life or so long, it might as well be (70 years maybe? ).

            As someone stated above, had he gotten life, he had no chance of all this support, which I believe is a problem in that we somehow see death in 20 years as exponentially harsher than 50 years or life.

            As a society, we should take putting someone in prison forever much more seriously than we do.

            1. If he had gotten life instead of the death penalty, would the state be so invested in the decision? The state fought extremely hard for this ultimate punishment; they’re not going to back down from it unless they absolutely have to because otherwise they’ll look “weak” in a high-profile dispute.

              1. I think the state would still be very zealous if defending this verdict of it were low in prison versus death penalty, but I would assume die to the death penalty that they are going even further to defend it.

                Also, given the media attention, they are more likely still to defend the case with all resources available and that pressure would likely exist even if it were life in prison (though that would make media attention less likely).

            2. the problem is that John Q Public believes what you said is how it works in practice – that those on death row wouldn’t be there unless they really did it because they trust that the system works.

          3. Actually, no. With all the appeals and legal proceedings leading up to the execution, it’s actually substantially cheaper to let them sit in a cell until they die of old age.

            So if you’re innocent, you’re better off being sentenced to death than getting life in prison? Isn’t that a point in favor of the death penalty?

        2. It’s not murder if it’s justified. Unfortunately, with this justice system, it isn’t justified.

    3. This is where I’m coming from too JB.

      In theory, I have no problem with executing people who have committed truly heinous crimes. However, over the last few decades the number of people on death row who were proved to be innocent due to new DNA tests made me realize that in practice the death penalty has to go.

      Like you, I just don’t understand how all those falsely convicted people don’t cause everyone to realize how badly the system is broken.

    4. The principle of the death penalty is pretty good: death is a great, final punishment and there are no more costs after death. Unfortunately, the US justice system is not up to the standards required for the death penalty to be a good idea and helpful part of the justice system. I hope someday to see that justice system.

  15. Where the hell is that phone and pen?

  16. Since this article appears to rely on the Slate article as its sole source, I’ll just link it here:
    http://www.slate.com/articles/…..ahoma.html

    1. Lauren didn’t get into Columbia.

      1. I haven’t gotten into any of the law schools I haven’t applied to. It’s a real shame.

        1. If you choose to sully your good name by wading into this den of iniquity, you ought at least to know your memes. It is the “prestigious” Columbia School of Journalism, not Law, that is being alluded to.

          1. Ugh guys I’m a part of Reason’s research division not the cool side. I can’t keep up! (Thank you for the warning…)

            1. It is okay, the cool kids will help you out.

            2. Run, Lauren! Run while you still can!

              (looks back in alarm)

              Oh no, they’re coming! Run!!!

    2. Excellent further reading material but not my sole source. Click on my links, bro!

          1. I’m sorry to have potentially libeled you. Please don’t sue me.

            1. FYI, he is not one of the cool kids.

              1. Breaking your neighbor’s porch light does not make yours shine brighter, Crusty.

                1. My status, or lack of, is not pertinent.

                  1. So… the lights are off, and nobody is home?

                    1. The lights are off, but there is a solitary hopeful man lounging in a recliner.

              2. Y’all are all way too old to be flirting with the intern.

                *licks finger and straightens eyebrows*

                So, Lauren, what’s your policy on dating millennials?

                1. To be clear, there is no flirting on my part. I have a well-established type, and Lauren falls well outside of those parameters.

                  However, if she increases her weight by a tremendous amount, and takes exceptional steps to decrease her grooming habits, all while making sure to delve into a maniacal mental state that is clearly visible by her exterior appearance, then we are talking.

                  1. Somebody matching that description bagged that description bagged my groceries this evening. She also mentioned something about looking for a father for her newborn daughter.

                    Interested?

                    1. I can’t say her current employment status is a turn-on.

                    2. I get it. The welfare is a turn on…

  17. As an Oklahoman, I’d just like to say that at least we don’t have a gigantic monument on our capitol grounds that says “Thou Shalt Not Kill” engraved right on it. And at least none of the people cheering or accepting the execution of this innocent person are the same people who fought tooth and nail to get that monument erected.

    1. “Thou Shalt Not Kill”

      Supporters of the Death Penalty like to say this was improperly translated and should actually say, “Thou Shalt Not Murder.”

      The distinction is that if one person kills someone, it’s murder. But if twelve people and a judge decide to kill someone, it’s just killing. And that’s OK.

      1. Seems like a really logical distinction. Do you also have trouble with the distinction between stealing and receiving a gift. “Put some wrapping paper on and all of a sudden taking stuff from other people is OK.

        1. I tend to receive gifts, not take them from people.

        2. Usually we call things taken from others stolen property, not gifts.

      2. All murder is killing but not all killing is murder. Just like incarceration is not always false imprisonment.

        1. All wilful killing that isn’t self-defence is murder.

          1. So if my country was being occupied, and I snuck into a the occupying army’s base, and smothered their commanding officer with a pillow, then I’m a murderer?

  18. I’m perfectly willing to believe Glossip is innocent (and even more so that he was not properly proven guilty).

    But this is sloppy as hell, Reason.

    Is he “likely innocent” or “plausibly innocent”?

    The two are not the same thing, not even close, even though absolutely neither one deserves a guilty verdict or capital punishment.

    1. Plausibly innocent is safer to say, but likely innocent is not a legal term; it just has a common meaning. There’s a very specific question re: just how likely his innocence is (very likely? somewhat likely?) and I left that open. Both terms don’t vouch for his innocence, instead just point out the doubt about his guilt. I didn’t change the headline but both work.

      1. Was there enough to convict him on circumstantial evidence? Seeing as the victim was killed when he went to confront Glossip for stealing large sums of money and he was murdered by Glossip’s lackey who didn’t know about the thefts.

  19. It is better to execute an innocent person than to execute no one at all.

    /typical prosecutor

  20. “States are so eager to administer the highest form of punishment?death?that they’re willing to rely on the shoddiest of evidence and overlook even the most glaring examples of possible innocence to get the job done.”

    So eager that current stats have it at less than 1 execution per state per year (with roughly 33-50% being Texas any given year), and this particular prisoner has almost spent 2 decades on death row? Hyperbole much?

    1. Oh, well, in that case, dude has it coming. Bring on the needle.

      1. I see so Reason isn’t responsible for the risibly drama girl rhetoric because HIGHERTRUTH/ FUCKTHEPIGS.

        1. Look, dude, you and your confederate have me convinced. Who cares what the details are, this guy should be dead by lethal injection yesterday. Because wording, right?

          1. This was not a comment about the specific guilt/innocence of this case, it was about the overhyped and incorrect rhetoric used by the author. If you are correct, you shouldn’t need to resort to hyperbole to persuade people to your point.

            1. Seriously, no need to get so worked up and hyperbolic, people, The State is just going to execute a possibly innocent man in less than 24hrs and there’s not a goddamn thing anyone can do about it.

              #takeachillpill

              1. Excellent point, because if we all get pissed enough and say enough idiotic and overemotional things, the door to his cell will just fly open and he will be carried aloft to safety and freedom. Our angry rhetoric will cause the evidence of his innocence to spontaneously appear and all shall be well in the universe.

                Who cares if what we are saying is correct, it just FEELZ good to say it!!

                1. If you look at the specifics of this case, I think it’s safe to say the hyperbole is justified. The man was convicted solely upon the word of a confessed murderer. There was no other testimony or evidence against him, and yet he’s about to be murdered. Someone had to be really eager to kill this guy for this to happen.

                  1. That notion is contradicted by at least two appellate courts that rejected his direct appeal as well as his habeas corpus denial. See here

                    The State presented an enormous amount of evidence that Glossip concealed Van Treese’s body from investigators all day long and he lied about the broken window. ? He admitted knowing that Sneed killed Van Treese in room 102. ? He knew about the broken glass. ? However, he never told anyone that he thought Sneed was involved in the murder, until after he was taken into custody that night, after Van Treese’s body was found. ? Glossip intentionally lied by telling people that Van Treese had left early that morning to get supplies. ? In fact, Van Treese was killed hours before Glossip claimed to have seen Van Treese that morning. ? Glossip’s stories about when he last saw Van Treese were inconsistent. ? He first said that he last saw him at 7:00 a.m.; ? later he said he saw him at 4:30 a.m. ? Finally, he said he last saw him at 8:00 p.m. the night before Van Treese’s death, and he denied making other statements regarding the time he last saw Van Treese.

              2. I feel pretty ridiculous about feeling much of anything at all since it was shown that the article might have been written by someone who wasn’t totally neutral at the idea that beyond a reasonable doubt actually means very reasonably doubtful, actually. Egg on my face, right?

            2. Zunalter:
              So eager that current stats have it at less than 1 execution per state per year (with roughly 33-50% being Texas any given year), and this particular prisoner has almost spent 2 decades on death row? Hyperbole much?

              Murdering 50 innocent people per year sounds like a lot to me. I guess it’s okay because we get to divide the guilt among ~300,000,000 of us?

              1. “Mudering 50 innocent people”

                Sources please.

                1. Slightly off topic, some guy and Zunalter,

                  Tell me if this gives credence/offers evidence to your individual positions or not:

                  Of the 8,221 individuals sentenced to death between 1973 and 2010 (see chart #15 on page 19), 3,359 either had their sentences or convictions overturned or their sentences commuted. The number of individuals executed in that time was 1,234.

                  Thanks.

                2. Sources please./i
                  Okay, you’re right. I misunderstood you @6:25. So, I’ll just say that even murdering 1 innocent person seems like a lot to me.

  21. Seems to me Reason should just be straightforward and say contracting someone to murder someone else is not a crime. Because the only other way to catch someone doing so (other than turning the murderer) is for them to contract with an undercover cop in a sting operation and we know how well that will go over with the FUCKTHEPIGS spergies here.

    1. WHYSO AIN’T THERE NO DEATH PENULTY FER FAGGOTS NEETHER

      1. Why episarch’s parents no love him.

    2. Tulpa, have you ever considered suicide? It might do you some good.

      1. Certainly would do the rest of us some good.

    3. Jared Polis?

    4. “Because the only other way to catch someone doing so (other than turning the murderer) is for them to contract with an undercover cop in a sting operation and we know how well that will go over with the FUCKTHEPIGS spergies here.”

      Actually having the cops do their fucking jobs instead of harassing people for non-crimes would go over real well here.

    5. Everyone, just so you know, Sam Haysom tried to contract me to commit a murder. I turned him down, but if any of your are law enforcement officers you might want to look into it.

      Also, I’ve never killed anyone or committed a felony, to my knowledge, so my word should be worth a lot more than Mr. Sneed’s, right?

      See how easy that is Sammy?

    6. Seems to me Reason should just be straightforward and say contracting someone to murder someone else is not a crime. Because the only other way to catch someone doing so (other than turning the murderer) is for them to contract with an undercover cop in a sting operation and we know how well that will go over with the FUCKTHEPIGS spergies here.

      You know, you’re absolutely right. We’re just making this shit too difficult for cops and prosecutors to get convictions by demanding they prove their cases ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’.

      Preponderance of the evidence is sufficient for civil cases, amiright? After all, its better that 8 innocent men be convicted than 2 rapists go free.

      “It is more important that guilt should be prosecuted, than it is that innocence be protected; for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world, and they all must be punished…. when innocence itself, is brought to the bar and condemned, especially to die, the prosecutor will exclaim, ‘it is immaterial to me whether he behaved well or ill, for my win/loss ratio is at stake.’

      Defense counsel is fined $2,000 for showing up!

    7. I would say that, until the act is carried out, it is a civil and not criminal matter. Sting operations are problematical for many reasons, none of which I would describe as irrational hatred of police, but I doubt you have any concern for such nuance.

      1. There could also be phone records, evidence of a meeting that can be corroborated or at least survive any alibi, possibly bank records, previous conversations in which the alleged hirer alluded to murder. There are a lot of different ways to catch the hirer that don’t rely solely on the testimony of the hit man.

  22. OT: Sloopy post any updates today?

    1. She’s doing great, last I heard.

    2. Surgery went well. Better than expected.

    3. Thanks both of you.

  23. Season Premiere of South Park tomorrow.

    The topic:
    Caitlyn Jenner

    1. Their take will be interesting, but I am glad someone is finally taking Bundchen down a peg or two.

      1. She’s no Kim Davis, that’s for sure.

  24. Reading Fallin’s statement, if the facts she contends are correct, I’d say that she has a strong counter to the Galik spin on the story. Fallin’s take is that the court has the power to stay, if Glossip’s lawyers could offer good evidence, but that “”For months, and as part of a larger publicity campaign opposing the death penalty, Richard Glossip’s attorneys have been publicly claiming to have new evidence that exonerates their client. During that time, my office and I have urged them to bring that so-called evidence to the proper venue: a court of law. Not only have Glossip’s lawyers not done so, but they have actively rejected requests from public officials to examine whatever materials they have.”

    So, what is it? Manipulative, outrage theatre, or is Fallin factually wrong?

    1. All Fallin’s office suggests is that he’s been convicted on two separate occasions. If those convictions relied solely on the word of the actual killer, who was offered leniency in exchange for testimony, and if that video was not played before jurors, which would almost certainly have cast doubt on that testimony, then it’s enough in my mind for a stay. Though it might not matter much. The governor may be right that 60 days will not furnish what 6000 failed to turn up.

      1. If those convictions relied solely on the word of the actual killer

        Apparently there was a compelling circumstantial case against Glossip. Without the killer’s testimony he’d likely be doing life without any controversy and we wouldn’t have this post.

        1. Apparently there was a compelling circumstantial case against Glossip.

          So this must not be true?:

          However, there was no corroborating evidence tying Glossip to the crime

        2. If we strike the celebrity endorsements from the blogpost, the story presented here on reason covers a number of damning facts. However, I presume that the trial covered more than just what Lauren Galik covered in 1000 (or so) words.

          I have a question, if Glossip is considered or found to be innocent, and Sneed has already admitted to doing the physical killing, do we revisit his sentence?

    2. His lawyers never claimed to have exonerating evidence; just new evidence that casts further doubt on Glossip’s guilt. It’s really hard to prove “actual innocence,” and they probably never will be able to. That’s why I said there’s a very small chance he won’t be executed tomorrow. But should we really be allowing individuals whose guilt is in question to be killed by the state? I don’t think so.

      1. Sure, but note that if he’s honestly innocent, what proof can go offer which would pride innocence? How does one prove a negative?

        Prove you weren’t on the moon once in the last 3 years.

        Prove you didn’t talk to the guy who says you did.

      2. But should we really be allowing individuals whose guilt is in question to be killed by the state? I don’t think so.

        Oh, my. Look. I am one of those who doubt that we should really be allowing individuals whose guilt is unquestioned to be killed by the state. So, a fortiori, I doubt that we should “really be allowing individuals whose guilt is in question to be killed by the state.” But, frankly, the passive voice contention, “guilt is in question,” is sophomoric, speculative and weak.You seem to be confusing sentiments about the death penalty with the assertion of specific facts in this case that might lead a court to think about a stay – a stay, merely, not a reversal of conviction – a stay of execution of sentence. Fallin says that Glossip’s lawyers attempted no presentation to the courts of new evidence, and only a few days ago presented evidence to the governor’s office. How would you respond to the Fallin statement? The implication is that the lawyers are carrying on a public relations campaign in lieu of real evidence. Is she correct with respect with the facts? If so, the

        1. what happened? Anyway, …If so, then she is only guilty of not sharing our doubts about the death penalty, and so ho-hum.

          1. Glossip has seventeen years of appeals. In one of his appeals, he was actually successful, getting a new trial, only to be convicted again.

            Many people here are arguing that he syhould not have been convicted in his second trial. And yet, every appellate court that considered his second conviction affirmed said conviction.

            Perhaps this article should have linked to the appellate court rulings that upheld his second conviction.

            1. Linking to appellate rulings, maybe, but at least a brief mention might give better context. There is much tendentiousness in this post. Note that it was written by the Director of Criminal Justice Reform of the Reason Foundation.

            2. So he was convicted of the murder twice? By two different juries? No mistrials? Doesn’t sound very “plausibly innocent”.

            3. Michael Ejercito|9.15.15 @ 9:52PM|#
              “Glossip has seventeen years of appeals. In one of his appeals, he was actually successful, getting a new trial, only to be convicted again.”

              Cite, please.

  25. But the state was able to convict TWO people for this murder. If that isn’t a win, I don’t know what is.

  26. A number of well known figures and celebrities, including Susan Sarandon (who appeared on Dr. Phil to talk about Glossip’s case), former University of Oklahoma football coach Barry Switzer, and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), have publicly pleaded with Gov. Mary Fallin to spare Glossip’s life.

    This doesn’t really help your case, you know. In fact, it starts me off a trifle more skeptically.

    He was convicted and sentenced to death based upon the testimony of Sneed alone. What’s worse, there’s video evidence, which Glossip’s lawyer failed to introduce to the court and therefore the jury never saw, that shows Detective Bob Bemo pushing Sneed to implicate Glossip. In exchange for this testimony, Sneed was able to avoid the death penalty.

    Now we’re talking. I’m not opposed in principle to the death penalty, but I am opposed to allowing the prosecution to buy testimony and put it in front of a jury without, at a minimum, full disclosure of what the witness is getting in exchange for being a rat.

    1. Now we’re talking. I’m not opposed in principle to the death penalty, but I am opposed to allowing the prosecution to buy testimony and put it in front of a jury without, at a minimum, full disclosure of what the witness is getting in exchange for being a rat.

      Especially death penalty cases. There should be a much higher burden of proof if you’re going to have a death penalty.

      1. So you don’t like the “if he’s on trial, he must be guilty of it” standard we currently have going?

        1. If that were true, Kelly Thomas’s killers would be hanging from a very high tree.

          1. I was tongue-in-cheek but jurors are generally of the mind that the defendant facing trial is guilty and it’s his job to convince them he isn’t. There is no “reasonable doubt” standard in America since your average juror has no idea WTF “reasonable” even means.

        2. And that’s the real problem.

          All the safeguards possible are meaningless if juries still mostly believe, “defendant(s) must be guilty or the state wouldn’t be trying the case”.

          So unless we’re willing to ditch the jury system altogether (which I’m not saying we should nor have I any ideas on what may replace it), how do you go about fixing a problem caused by poor thinking on behalf of most jury members?

          1. By at least getting rid of the ultimate punishment.

            1. That will not solve the problems of the jury system.

              1. Yer doin’ great, Mike! Keep it up! We all can use the amusement…

                1. Maybe you can, Sevo.

                  1. Not amused?
                    Nuts.

        3. Since when was that the standard?

  27. Why would anyone willingly live in Oklahoma? Between the execution of innocent people, asinine drug laws, humidity and (I’m sure) awful cops, it’s like the worst of rural Texas but landlocked. Best case scenario: a tornado the size of a Tulpa’s victim-complex hits you and ends it all.

    1. I think it’s where much of America’s military munitions are manufactured!

    2. Why would anyone willingly live in Oklahoma?

      Beats Canada, for one thing.

      1. No it doesn’t. Canada has some culture and bearable climate in specific locations while Oklahoma has uneducated Yokels and humidity/tornadoes.

        1. Well, I’m sure they happily go about their about their lives and sleep great at night with the knowledge that they aren’t you.

          1. That’s a discredit to them.

        2. Canada does not have yokels?

          Are you not aware of the Red Green Show?

      2. “Beats Canada, for one thing.”

        Cold, RC. Cold.

    3. Proximity to Tony?

    4. Oklahoma has its charms.

          1. I’ve only been in the “greater Dallas” portion. I understand the best part of Oklahoma is , not un-coincidentally, bordering some of the best part of Arkansas.

            1. Jesus Fucking Christ

              Delete the “not” or the “un-” if you prefer.

          2. “Booooooo
            2 thumbs down”

            Hey, if it were *that* bad, you’d have gotten some re-enforcement by now. Nope; seems to be a ‘woosh’ to most….

            1. If they got it, the pitchforks would come out.

              1. “If they got it, the pitchforks would come out.”
                Subtle, ain’t I?

  28. “Actual innocence” is an absolutely impossible standard to ever obtain. I mean, how many of you can actually prove you’re currently in your mom’s basement and not out committing a murder right now?

    1. You are going to trace the IP address of this comment and find out it’s coming FROM INSIDE YOUR HOUSE!!!! [Dramatic music que] Do you like scary movies, Sidney?

    2. Not a good comparison. Given a specific crime, actual innocence may not be very hard to prove via an alibi or proof that another person did it.

      1. Jaqen|9.15.15 @ 10:29PM|#
        “Not a good comparison. Given a specific crime, actual innocence may not be very hard to prove via an alibi or proof that another person did it.”

        Only your first is possible ‘proof’ of innocence here; he’s not accused of being at the site of the crime AFAIK.
        Proof of innocence is nearly impossible with crimes of this sort; ‘he told me to do it!’

  29. i support the death penalty just a little more than i oppose it, although i wouldn’t be opposed to it disappearing tomorrow forever either. i understand, even under a good system, you might kill an innocent person…no system ever designed by man is error proof. and while i know that comes across as harsh, i think of it simply as one of those truths people are ok with so long as they don’t have to hear about it. however, like others, the execution of the executions is what increasingly bothers me. it’s like we’re trying to be cavalier about all this, and say what you want about someone being ok with a system that might kill an innocent person, but i don’t think it’s the same as having a careless disregard for human life that we’re showing now.

    anyway, this was the long way to saying cases like this are slowly shifting my opinion to against the death penalty altogether.

  30. Oklahoma is the one US state I haven’t visited because it’s not a destination or on the way to one. Guess I’ll keep it that way. If this conviction was primarily based on the testimony of the killer without hard evidence then he should be set free. Of course, the state could never admit that level of incompetence and outright malfeasance so they are just doubling down and murder him instead. If this isn’t evidence of the incompetent tyrannical nature of government, I don’t know what is. I think it is finally time to eliminate the death penalty once and for all. Perhaps this case can be used to support the effort.

  31. prosecutors see ‘justice’ as what furthers their careers. it’s a disgrace.

  32. The low threshold the state has to kill a person is thoroughly depressing.

    1. Beyond a reasonable doubt is not a low threshold.

  33. Here is what I do not understand.

    Assuming arguendo that Mr. Glossip is innocent, how is it more tragic than incinerating thousands of innocent children seventy years ago?

    We did not stop building atomic bombs even though there was a likelihood that innocent people would be killed should an occasion for their use arise.

    1. WHAT IN THE FUCK DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING AT ALL

      1. Beat me to it, Playa; I wrote something longer and then decided the hell with it.

      2. People here are arguing that the death penalty because it might kill innocent people. We did not give up the atomic bomb even though its previous use did kill innocent people.

          1. Of course. My argument is inassailable.

            1. As someone who is on record here as deeply opposed to the Japan nukes, I have to say that your injection, here, of this argument is just slightly south of fucking moronic.

            2. Michael Ejercito|9.15.15 @ 9:41PM|#
              “Of course. My argument is inassailable.”

              Well, ME does have one point: No one with a grain of sense is going to bother explaining the needle-bending level of stupidity in that supposed ‘argument’.
              Hey, Mike! Why is purple? Can’t prove me wrong, can you?

    2. Michael Ejercito|9.15.15 @ 9:17PM|#
      “Here is what I do not understand.
      Assuming arguendo that Mr. Glossip is innocent, how is it more tragic than incinerating thousands of innocent children seventy years ago?
      We did not stop building atomic bombs even though there was a likelihood that innocent people would be killed should an occasion for their use arise.”

      Sarc or the ravings of a fucking imbecile?

      1. It is not sarcasm.

        People have argued that we need to get rid of the death penalty because it can killl innocent people. Here is a short list of things clearly kill more innocent people than the death penalty:

        – nuclear weapons
        – motor vehicles that can travel faster than 5 mph
        – airplanes
        – firearms

        If the possibility of innocents dying warrants abolishing the death penalty, then it also warrants anything that kills more innocent people than the death penalty does.

        1. Which of course, goes to prove my second point:
          You’re a fucking imbecile.

        2. Oh man. Oh man.

          You should dust and polish your 3rd grade debate trophy. Some people peak really early, it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

        3. “If the possibility of innocents dying warrants abolishing the death penalty, then it also warrants anything that kills more innocent people than the death penalty does.”

          No murder by any definition? What kind/sort of human being are you, Michael E?

        4. You forgot hippopotamuses. Hopefully for the last time.

  34. If there is any doubt the execution should be stayed.

    1. If there was any doubt, the jury would have acquitted him. It was only two years after the OJ Simpson trial, after all.

      1. …This is really you, right? You’re not playing some kind of incredibly stupid character?

        1. Another long time commenter gone off the deep end.

          1. I thought he’s always been off the deep end. Maybe I’m thinking of somebody else.

            1. You know, you could be right. But a lot of people have lost their shit over gay marriage, and now I notice the crazy more than I used to.

          2. He’s always been a complete moron.

            1. To be honest, it’s a name I recognize, but have no conscious recollection of a specific ‘argument’.
              I do, now….

              1. I remember him from years ago, back when I was a lurker.

  35. Is this shocking in any way? Does Obama verify the innocence or guilt of everyone he murders at wedding parties and daycare centers all over the middle east?

    Why be a phoney at home? Be yourself!

    1. Oh, wait… that said Oklahoma! I almost always read anything evil and starting with an O as Obama!

      Anyway, I feel better now.

  36. Would you feel better if a plausibly innocent man just spent the rest of his life in prison?

    The death penalty isn’t the problem in this case, it’s possible prosecutorial misconduct and incompetent defense attorneys.

    1. The incompetent defense attorney issue was successfully used in his first appeal, which resulted in the initial conviction being overturned.

      But the Tenth Circuit rejected claims of ineffective counsel during the second trial .

      Regarding the video evidence mentioned int he article, the court noted:

      Having reviewed the video, we conclude, as did
      the district court, that “the officers’ questioning was not sufficiently manipulative
      to make it evident from viewing the videotape that, but for their suggestions,
      Sneed would not have implicated Glossip in the murder of Barry Van Treese.”

      1. “Having reviewed the video, we conclude, as did
        the district court, that “the officers’ questioning was not sufficiently manipulative
        to make it evident from viewing the videotape that, but for their suggestions,
        Sneed would not have implicated Glossip in the murder of Barry Van Treese.””

        OK, from the article:
        “”Had members of the jury watched the tape, they would have heard [Detective] Bemo tell Sneed that before he decided whether or not to waive his rights and talk to the cops, he should consider the situation. “Before you make your mind up on anything,” Bemo cautioned him, “I want you to hear some of the things that we’ve got to say to you….”

        Seems the jury didn’t have the luxury of viewing the tape.
        It also seems you have some pretty strong issues here hoping they stick the needle in his arm, attempting, for instance, to equate the death penalty to nuke weapons.
        Are you another Tulpa sock? Just that stupid? Just hoping they off the guy?
        What is it?

          1. Ewuuuuuuuuuuuu!
            I’m sure there are those living near me who are more than willing to excuse the state taking a life.
            I’m also sure ‘we’ have not engaged in that discussion; stupid neighbors should be avoided rather than engaged.

          2. “He’s real. Lives near me.”

            BTW, I was confused.
            At first, I thought this was a condemnation of the use of nukes in ’45. Now I see it is a truly pathetic attempt to justify state-sanctioned murder.
            I thought Mike was simply stupid; I see now that he’s both stupid and presuming his stupidity will sway others here in promoting state-sanctioned murder.
            Hint, Mike: Not only are you stupid, you are insulting to those of us capable of thought. Fuck off, asshole.

            1. I’m done with it. A quick google search shows that he worked for WFG, the Amway of life insurance. They basically scam poor people into buying highly commissioned whole life policies, which is absolutely a rip off for the client. It’s evil.

              But I bet you he didn’t even know what he was doing. That’s what kind of mind we’re dealing with.

              1. Do you wanna end up in a pauper’s grave, Pl?ya? Or worse, unclaimed in a drawer downtown?

                1. It’s hard to say. I think I probably won’t care when I’m dead.

        1. The Tenth Circuit already addressed the issue of the defense’s refusal to introduce the tape as evidence.

          As petitioner asserts, playing the tape might have clarified
          what Sneed did and did not tell the officers during the initial
          interview. However, defense counsel clearly made the point that
          Sneed’s story had changed and in ways that made Glossip more
          culpable. Having reviewed the videotape of Sneed’s initial interview
          with the police, the interview transcript and the trial transcript, the
          court concludes defense counsel was not constitutionally ineffective
          for failing to impeach Sneed by playing the videotape at trial.

          Now, the first appeal succeeded, because the state appellate court found that the video was not used at all in the first trial. The record for the second trial did show the defense questioning the witnesses about discrepancies between their on-stand testimony and the videotape.

  37. Here is the ruling rejecting the habeas corpus petition.

    1. Nice, Mike.
      Care to sum-up? Or are you hoping we’ll all spend time sorting through a link from someone who’s shown himself to be, well, a little lacking in focus (at best).

      1. I do find it odd that Lauren Galik failed to at least link to the latest ruling denying habeas corpus, even if onkly to explain why the Tenth Circuit erred.

        Furthermore, as the record showed, Sneed’s testimony alone did not convict Glossip- Glossip’s own statements were used against him- not the least being an attempt to frame an innocent man for vandalism.

        1. Jesus H Christ.
          Can you reconcile the following?

          “Glossip claims that the State used demonstrative aids to overly emphasize certain portions of witnesses’ testimony. He claims that the posters (1) placed undue influence on selected testimony, were the equivalent of continuous closing argument, and (3) violated the rule of sequestration. . . ”

          OK, not that bad, right? I’m sure that the state has a good explanation.

          “. . . Defense counsel requested that these poster sized note sheets be preserved . . . for appellate review, but the trial court refused the request. . . . We are extremely troubled by the trial court’s attitude toward defense counsel’s attempt to preserve the demonstrative aides for appellate review.”

          What the fuck? Continuing:

          “Here, the only way to determine what was on the posters, in toto, is to search the record and note where it appears that the prosecutor was writing on the note pad.”

          This whole thing is fucked now. You didn’t read a fucking word of this, did you?

        2. Michael Ejercito|9.15.15 @ 11:25PM|#
          “I do find it odd that Lauren Galik failed to at least link to the latest ruling denying habeas corpus, even if onkly to explain why the Tenth Circuit erred.”

          And yet you fail to, oh, maybe pick some quotes that might support your desire to off the guy rather than suggest someone else link the judgement (which is hardly ever done, given that most of us have no idea how to translate from legalese).
          Why is that, Mike? Are you a Tulpa sock?

          1. I linked to the actual judgment.

            Reason.com limits characters in text, so I can not post everything in full. But I will post one snippet quoted in the ruling that affirmed habeas denial.

            Defense counsel’s decision not to introduce the video was
            reasonable trial strategy. Playing the tape would have shown that
            Bemo told Sneed several times that he knew he did not commit the
            murder by himself and that others, particularly Glossip, were saying
            he acted alone. However, it also would have allowed the jury to hear
            Sneed explain, once again, how Glossip masterminded the murder.
            Contrary to petitioner’s characterization of the interview, the
            officers’ questioning was not sufficiently manipulative to make it
            evident from viewing the videotape that, but for their suggestions,
            Sneed would not have implicated Glossip in the murder of Barry Van
            Treese.

            1. Mike, pretty sure is was Playa who mentioned that we exist here in a ‘reputational economy’; our posts are judged on how much bullshit we have delivered.
              Well, you’ve delivered a LOT of bullshit, so any post by you is as suspect as one by commie-kid. I’ll presume your claims re: Nukes, were nothing other than support for your desire to see this guy offed; merely slimy argumentation; hyperbole.
              But thanks for the pull-quote; it supports your claim that he was not exonerated by the vid, but it also suggests that the defense decided not to use it in the hopes that reasonable doubt had been established.
              And, assuming this guy is ‘guilty’, it in no way affects my view that one innocent offed by the state is a clear argument that the death penalty is a power the state should not have.

      2. There’s some bad stuff in there

        1. In addition to the 10th Circuit opinion Ejercito linked, take a look at the Court of Criminal Appeals for Oklahoma opinion that they cite, Glossip v. State, 157 P.3d 143, and see if it changes your minds at all. (Readable here: https://www.courtlistener.com/ opinion /2632988/glossip-v-state/ ) [Link broken because this site’s comment software is utterly fucked up. God, a working Reasonable really hid a lot of the flaws of this piece of shit.]

          Despite how manipulative the OKC policeman was during his interview of the murderer, Sneed, (and FWIW, I am not seeing anything so far that this cop is alleged to have done, that isn’t done in most interview rooms around the country), IMHO there’s more than enough other evidence to hang Glossip for this. Specifically, his alleged embezzlement, the lies he told about made-up conversations with the victim after the murder occured, his steering away the non-involved motel staff from the murder room, and other evidence mentioned at paragraphs 43-52 of the Glossip opinion.

          I do think the state of Oklahoma has a weak case here, but I don’t think they’ll be killing an innocent man if and when they execute Glossip. In any event, go read the two cited judicial opinions and see what you think.

          1. This is what Lauren Galik wrote above.

            He was convicted and sentenced to death based upon the testimony of Sneed alone.

            It is very important to be right on the facts, even if we disagree with the legal conclusions of the appellate courts that heard the appeals, or the propriety of the sentence. I would expect writers on Reason, if they were to write about alleged miscarriages of justice in criminal trials, to at least review the relevant court rulings and be familiar trial record. I was able to find the appellate rulings in less than an hour after reading this article. How much time did Lauren Galik have to do research?

            1. Yes, that is what troubles me about the what this article was handled. She’s playing to a biased audience and appears to not have done any fact checking and likely is just regurgitating what other media outlets and advocates have said.

              This type of ‘journalism’ can quickly destroy an institution’s reputation.

  38. This leaves one to observe that when the law stops respecting man, then man has no cause to respect the law.

    1. Hardly. The laws aren’t the problem. The problem is the people administering them.

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  40. “no evidence of actual innocence” = “likely innocent”

  41. This is exactly the kind of shit I mean when I say that even though the death penalty is warranted in many cases the state is completely incompetent to apply it.

  42. “However, there was no corroborating evidence tying Glossip to the crime?no fingerprints, no DNA, nothing. He was convicted and sentenced to death based upon the testimony of Sneed alone.”

    Incorrect.

    Glossip had $1200 of the victim’s cash and no plausible explanation why. Then he gave inaccurate statements to the police that temporarily distracted them from searching the hotel room where they would eventually discovery the body. And later that evening, he attempted to sell several of his possessions and skip town, but was apprehended before he could get away.

    Add to that the circumstantial evidence: Glossip was the only one with a motive. He’d been embezzling money from his boss for months, had just gotten busted for some of it, and knew he was about to get busted for the rest of it the next morning, when his boss was going to inspect the contracting work he’d stolen the money for. Snead, by contrast, had no credible motive for the murder, but was entirely dependent on Glossip for money.

    That’s merely a taste, but adding Snead’s testimony to all of that will begin to give the reader a better sense of the case. And perhaps also inspire some much-deserved skepticism about the broader claim of “likely innocence” being asserted here.

  43. Regarding the videotape in question (which the author apparently hasn’t reviewed herself, but relies instead on a highly editorialized description put together by two death penalty advocates): I do agree that Snead’s interrogation was suggestive. That’s not illegal, but the defense was of course entitled to cross examine the interrogator about it.

    What the author doesn’t tell us about the video (perhaps because she doesn’t know herself) is that after Snead confesses in that video, he then proceeds to tell the police in elaborate detail how Glossip planned and recruited him for the murder, how they divided up the boss’ cash and hid his car afterward, and how they tried to clean up the hotel room. All of which probably would have made Glossip look pretty bad in front of the jury.

    So the defense made a strategic decision: They still cross examined the interrogator about the suggestive interrogation techniques (in contrast to the defense strategy in the first trial, which was thrown out). They just left the actual video out because they deemed it more prejudicial than helpful to their client’s defense. That’s not grounds for an ineffective assistance of counsel claim.

    All of this information can be found in the published opinions on the habeas petition.

    I can appreciate the author’s passionate distaste for the death penalty. Indeed, I might even share it. That shouldn’t relieve anyone of the burden of facing inconvenient facts.

  44. You have jumped too quickly on the innocence bandwagon. It is certainly true that there was not overwhelming evidence. But there was way more than the word of a snitch. Read carefully the court of appeals decision. Since one of the issues was the sufficiency of the evidence, the court goes into great detail setting forth the facts, all of which led not one but two juries (24 persons total) to find Glossip guilty. If you want to challenge the death penalty, that’s fine of course. But don’t do so under the pretext that Glossip is innocent. He’s not.

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