Update 10/1/15, 9:42pm: Alfredo Pieto was executed in Virginia tonight at 9:17pm. His lawyers had just filed an application for a stay with the U.S. Supreme Court when news of his execution was announced.
Update 10/1/15, 7:36pm: After a change of venue, a Federal Court in Virginia heard arguments about the lethal injections drugs to be used in tonight’s execution in Virginia. In his ruling following the hearing, the judge lifted an injunction, clearing the way for the execution to go forward.
Update 10/1/15, 7:29pm: The Attorney General in Oklahoma has asked for an indefinite suspension in executions, including that of Richard Glossip as well as two others that were scheduled for next week. In a request to the highest court in Oklahoma, the A.G. indicated it “needs time to evaluate the events that transpired” leading up to Glossip’s scheduled – and ultimately stayed – execution on Tuesday.
Update 10/1/15, 9:33am: Though a hearing originally scheduled for this afternoon has been canceled, an injunction still stands, staying today’s scheduled execution of Alfred Prieto in Virginia. Lawyers for Prieto are seeking a more information about the drugs the State plans to use for the execution, which were acquired from Texas prison officials.
Update 9/30/15, 5:09pm: EXECUTION STAYED. Governor Mary Fallin has issued a stay of execution in the case of Richard Glossip, just over an hour after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to halt the execution. The Governor’s statement indicates there are problems with the lethal injection drugs.
Update 9/30/15, 4:14pm: The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to grant a stay in the case of Richard Glossip, whose execution was scheduled to begin a few moments ago. Indications from reports on the ground in Oklahoma are that execution procedures will resume shortly.
Update 9/30/15, 2:54pm ET: A U.S. district judge granted a temporary stay of execution to Alfredo Prieto to examine Virginia’s use of a lethal injection drug supplied by Texas. A hearing on the issue is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon, after which the stay could be lifted or extended.
Update 9/30/15, 9:13am ET: After lengthy delays related to emergency appeals, Kelly Glissendaner was executed shortly after midnight this morning.
Update 9/29/15, 4:14pm ET: Attorneys for Richard Glossip have filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking them to stay Wednesday’s execution for reasons of actual innocence. Read the full petition here.
Update 9/29/15, 4:03pm ET: The New York Times has published an article about Kelly Gissendaner’s case, which covers the appeals still pending and the courts that could act before tonight’s scheduled 7pm ET execution.
Tuesday: Kelly Gissendaner is scheduled to be executed this evening in Georgia. Her co-defendant actually committed the crime but will be eligible for parole in seven years – so why is Gissendaner getting executed? Furthermore, Gissendaner earned a degree in Theological Studies while awaiting execution and has been ministering to her fellow inmates. A former state supreme court justice and the former deputy director of corrections have both said she should not be executed.
Wednesday: Richard Glossip is scheduled to be executed in Oklahoma. Two weeks ago, his execution was delayed because of new evidence casting doubt on his guilt and suggesting that his co-defendant acted alone. Despite that evidence, the courts denied him a new hearing.
Thursday: Alfredo Prieto is scheduled to be executed in Virginia. There is extensive evidence Mr. Prieto is a person with intellectual disability whose execution would be prohibited by the Constitution. Virginia plans to execute him with drugs it obtained from Texas that do not appear to have been made through an F.D.A.-approved process.
Three executions in three days. All of them raise serious questions about the death penalty: innocence, redemption, fairness, culpability, and more.
The overall trend in the United States is away from the death penalty, and last week’s comments for global repeal by Pope Francis gave great hope. But this week we are reminded that our fight is not over.
What can you do? Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin still has the power to halt tomorrow’s execution of Richard Glossip. Call her at (405) 521-2342 or (405) 522-8857, or you can tweet her at @GovMaryFallin.
Advocates will also gather tomorrow night at 6:45pm in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. to rally for reversal in Glossip’s case and an end to the death penalty. Visit MoveOn’s event site for more details.
In Georgia and Virginia, the Board of Paroles and Pardons (GA) and Governor Terry McAuliffe (VA) have already denied clemency. You can still contact Georgia Governor Nathan Deal andVirginia Governor Terry McAuliffe to express your outrage over the scheduled executions today and Thursday.
We will post updates about these cases to this Newsline post, so check back here for the most up-to-date information. We will also tweet breaking news, so be sure you follow us on Twitter.
Photo credits: Richard Glossip, used with permission from Sister Helen Prejean’s Ministry Against the Death Penalty; Kelly Gissendaner, Ann Borden, Emory Photo Video; Alfredo Prieto, Virginia Department of Corrections via AP.