Jul 02, 2022
Appeals court sets Richard Glossip's execution date with conviction appeal pending
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(CNN)An Oklahoma appeals court has scheduled the execution date for death row inmate Richard Glossip while his defense rushes to mount a legal battle with newly uncovered evidence they say will prove his innocence in a 1997 murder case.The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals scheduled Glossip's execution for September 22 in an order filed Friday, marking the fourth time Glossip has been due for capital punishment in a case which has regularly been delayed by stay orders and other legal complications for years. According to an application for a post-conviction relief filed Friday, Glossip referred to an independent report conducted by international law firm Reed Smith and released in June, saying a "sloppy and truncated" police investigation and destroyed evidence resulted in Glossip's sentencing.Glossip was convicted of plotting the murder of his then-boss, Barry Van Treese, in 1997 when he worked as a motel manager, but he argued he had nothing to do with the crime. While Glossip was found guilty of tasking Justin Sneed -- then a 19-year-old maintenance worker -- with the murder, Glossip alleges he was framed. Sneed received a life sentence in a plea deal for his testimony against Glossip, which the new report says was the only evidence tying Glossip to the crime.Don Knight, Glossip's attorney, said in a statement Friday the court should cancel the execution date until a judge can review the independent report supporting Glossip's innocence. Knight told CNN the findings should help secure Glossip a hearing in which a judge could remand the case to an Oklahoma District Court.Read More"Richard Glossip has been through three tortuous execution dates already," the statement reads. "It does not serve justice to set a fourth execution date for an innocent man before all this new evidence can be fully considered in a court of law."The report released in June drew calls from at least one Republican state legislator to end Oklahoma's use of death sentencing if Glossip was put to death. Thirty-four state lawmakers, including 28 Republicans, commissioned the investigation after they voiced concerns about the case.In the 120-page application filed Friday, Knight wrote the report should necessitate another hearing with new evidence it revealed including detailed accounts that indicated Glossip had no role in ordering Treese's murder."Refusing to hear Mr. Glossip's claims on the merits would cause a grave miscarriage of justice, both because the claims address in large part serious misconduct by state actors ... and because the facts now known unequivocally demonstrate that Mr. Glossip is factually innocent," the filing said.According to the legal filing, the report on the case included statements from witnesses who attested a "botched robbery" -- which was organized by Sneed and his girlfriend, not Glossip -- led to the murder. "Several" witnesses said they heard Sneed say he set up Glossip in the case, according to the appeal filing.In an interview with CNN affiliate KFOR, Glossip maintained his innocence from his cell in M, still hoping to once more avoid impending execution."I want people to know that I didn't kill this man, I didn't participate, I didn't plan," he said.
News Source: CNN
Facebook defends sharing private messages in criminal abortion case
Facebook's parent company, Meta, admitted that it provided access to private messages related to the prosecution of an illegal abortion but said it did so without explicit reference to abortions from law enforcement.
The social platform pushed back in a Tuesday update over a Nebraska case involving the prosecution of a mother and daughter over an illegal abortion. While the case involved references to Facebook private messages between the pair discussing abortion options, the platform claims the data request came before the overturning of Roe v. Wade and that the warrant was not specifically on the subject of abortion. The company is defending its actions in a charged atmosphere as Democratic legislators and abortion rights activists push for technology companies to withhold abortion-related data from law enforcement in the wake of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization Supreme Court decision.
"We received valid legal warrants from local law enforcement on June 7, before the Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization," Meta said in a post correcting the previous reporting on the subject. "The warrants did not mention abortion at all. Court documents indicate that police were at that time investigating the alleged illegal burning and burial of a stillborn infant."
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Police found records via a warrant showing that the mother, 41-year-old Jessica Burgess, had suggested obtaining abortion pills to her 17-year-old daughter over Facebook messages and offered instructions on how to do so, according to court documents.
Burgess pleaded not guilty to five criminal charges, according to the Norfolk Journal-Star. Her daughter also pleaded not guilty to three charges. A 22-year-old man accused of helping the pair bury the fetus pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge and is scheduled to be sentenced later this month.
The investigation into the abortion began in April, months before the Supreme Court decision, after a Norfolk police detective chased a tip that the daughter had miscarried and that she and her mother had buried the fetus, according to a search warrant affidavit. The daughter had been more than 23 weeks pregnant at the time and was expected to deliver in July.
The pair told the detective that the daughter had given birth to the stillborn baby in the shower late at night, according to court records. The daughter woke the mother, who put the infant's corpse into a bag and stowed it in their van. The pair later left town and buried the body with the assistance of the 22-year-old man.
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Big Tech's sharing of abortion-related data has been a concern for abortion rights activists since the overturning of Roe. Several privacy experts and abortion rights advocates have argued that technology companies must take additional measures to ensure that law enforcement cannot access abortion-related data in states with abortion bans. While most companies have not adopted policies barring sharing of said data, Google said it would delete location history data for those who may have visited an abortion clinic.
Lawmakers have also increased pressure on technology companies. Senate Democrats asked the Federal Trade Commission in a June 24 letter to investigate Google and Apple for their roles in gathering and sharing abortion clinic location data. A Democratic congresswoman also introduced legislation that would protect women's private data concerning abortion and period tracking apps.Abortion News Technology Facebook Data Nebraska