Sunday, October 4, 2015

Susan Sarandon Makes a Plea for Richard Glossip, an innocent man who was sentenced to die.

Dear fellow MoveOn member,
This past Tuesday, Oklahoma came within minutes of killing Richard Glossip—an innocent man who was sentenced to die. 
And then, in a last-minute decision, the governor of Oklahoma granted him a stay of execution.
I firmly believe Richard would not be alive today if so many people—including hundreds of thousands of MoveOn members—hadn't spoken out and fought so hard already. 
Now, thanks to this incredible work—and the tireless dedication of Richard's new, pro bono legal team—we have more time. But to save Richard, there's so much more to do over the coming weeks.
A portion of your donation will help fund Richard's legal team directly, and it will also help MoveOn continue to run a big campaign to fight for Richard's life in the court of public opinion. 
Over the last several weeks, MoveOn members have gone into high gear to help Richard:
  • One quarter of a million people joined me and Sister Helen Prejean, whom I played in the movie "Dead Man Walking," in signing a petition calling for justice for Richard.
  • We flooded Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin's office with 7,000 calls.
  • We ran hard-hitting ads in The Oklahoman and on social media.
  • Then on Monday night, MoveOn members organized a powerful action outside of the U.S. Supreme Court.
But to save Richard, we need to do more. We need to help Richard's legal team win in court. And to also help MoveOn keep the pressure on the governor and other state officials who have the power to spare Richard's life.  
Will you chip in $3 to help support Richard's legal team and to ensure MoveOn has the resources it needs to keep this campaign going and growing? 
Richard was sent to death row on the word of one man—a confessed murderer, drug addict, and thief, who changed his story at least eight times, and even bragged about setting him up.1,2
Justin Sneed confessed to committing the gruesome murder, but said Richard hired him to do it. In exchange for testifying against Richard, Sneed avoided the death penalty and is now serving a life sentence in a medium-security prison.3
It's pretty straightforward, but Richard hasn't had the resources to prove his innocence. In July, a top-notch legal team took on his case, and they've found stunning new evidence that no court has ever considered.4
The next several weeks can be Richard's lifeline—but we need your help to fund Richard's legal work and to keep organizing to put pressure on the state of Oklahoma. If we can do both, then we have a real shot at saving Richard.
Will you chip in $3—or whatever you can—to help save an innocent man?
Thanks for all you do.
–Susan Sarandon 
P.S. MoveOn is also working with me to connect the dots to the larger issue: The death penalty is inhumane. And even those who believe in it in theory are forced to admit that it's inherently discriminatory and puts innocent people to death. We must heed Pope Francis's call to end it now.
A major headline this week read: "Richard Glossip and the end of the death penalty."5 As we fight for Richard's life, we can use Richard's case—and the attention we've now gotten—to build real momentum towards abolishing the death penalty in the United States. And momentum is on our side: Justice Scalia admitted last week that he "wouldn't be surprised" if the U.S. Supreme Court ends the death penalty soon.6
In a phone interview after his stay of execution was granted, Richard said, "I'm going to fight until the truth is finally in a courtroom where people can see it."7
Sources:

1. "New Evidence in Glossip case will be presented Monday, September 14 by Legal Defense Team Member Don Knight," The City Sentinel, September 12, 2015  
http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=307105&id=133179-30365010-Iq3Dstx&t=2
2. "A Summary: 'When Eight is Enough,'" The City Sentinel, September 4, 2015 
http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=307654&id=133179-30365010-Iq3Dstx&t=3
3. "With last-minute Stay, Richard Glossip execution blocked—again," The Intercept, October 1, 2015  
http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=307653&id=133179-30365010-Iq3Dstx&t=4 
4. "Oklahoma governor halts execution of Richard Glossip due to 'last minute questions' about the drugs involved," The Washington Post, September 30, 2015 
http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=307655&id=133179-30365010-Iq3Dstx&t=5 
5. "Richard Glossip and the end of the death penalty," The New Yorker, September 30, 2015
http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=307656&id=133179-30365010-Iq3Dstx&t=6
6. Ibid.
7. "KOCO speaks to Richard Glossip after Gov. Fallin stays execution," KOCO.com, September 30, 2015
http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=307659&id=133179-30365010-Iq3Dstx&t=7