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Three hours before he was due to die by lethal injection on September 16 Richard Glossip was granted a temporary stay of execution by the Oklahoma Court of Appeals.
Most people in Ireland, I believe, find the death penalty to be a barbarism, even when the case against the condemned person is airtight. The case against Richard is so shaky that it has even those who normally support state-sanctioned killing shaking their heads in shame.
Richard was convicted nearly 20 years ago for the murder of his employer. No one disputes that he was not the killer. But the man who admits the killing implicated him as a co-conspirator in a plea bargain to save his own life. His self-serving and often vague evidence provides the sole basis for the case against a man condemned to death.
That any person should be convicted on the basis of shoddy evidence is a miscarriage of justice. Yet that is what will happen to Richard unless he can show that it would be a grave injustice to take his life before the September 30 deadline.
Ordinary people can do something to help him. There is a website dedicated to his cause at http://www.richardeglossip.com/ and it has two online petitions that can be signed. It would take only about five minutes to fill them out.
Revd Patrick G Burke
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