Oklahoma governor halts execution of Richard Glossip, for now

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has issued a last-minute stay of execution for inmate Richard Glossip, citing concerns over one of the drugs used in the process. A new execution date, the fourth, has been set for Friday, November 6.

Fallin, in an executive order issued an hour after Glossip had been scheduled to die, said the Department of Corrections had received potassium acetate instead of potassium chloride as the third drug for the execution cocktail. "This stay will give the Department of Corrections and its attorneys the opportunity to determine whether potassium acetate is compliant with the execution protocol and/or to obtain potassium chloride," she said.

Glossip was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1997 murder of motel owner Barry Van Treese, whose killer, Justin Sneed, testified that Glossip had hired him to carry out the killing. Glossip was convicted with no physical evidence and his conviction relied largely on the testimony of Sneed, who received a plea deal for life without the possibility of parole in exchange for testifying that he had acted under Glossip's orders.

Sneed's daughter wrote the parole board last year, saying that her father had only testified to save his own life. She said her father wanted to recant his testimony but is afraid of losing his plea deal that spared him the death penalty. Glossip himself has always maintained his innocence, saying he was framed by Sneed.

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