As the final seconds tick away before his almost-certain execution for murder in Oklahoma, a despondent Richard Glossip has spoken out to The National ENQUIRER to declare he’s ready to meet his awful fate!
“I don’t want people thinking that I want to die as a martyr, because I don’t,” Glossip said in his final interview from Death Row.
“I am ready to die to prevent this from happening to another innocent person!”
Glossip will receive a lethal injection on Sept. 16 for ordering the murder of his former boss – unless the governor of Oklahoma steps in to stay the execution.
However, Hollywood actress and activist Susan Sarandon has been pulling out all the stops to save the condemned man’s life!
Susan – who won an Oscar for her portrayal of crusading, anti-death penalty nun Sister Helen Prejean in “Dead Man Walking” – is pressuring Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin to halt the execution.
In the meantime, Glossip spends the last days before he’ll be strapped to a gurney and wheeled into the death chamber confined to a cramped concrete cell in front of a flickering television in McAlester, Okla.
He was moved to the Oklahoma State Penitentiary’s grim H-Unit, which houses Death Row, on Aug. 15, and sits just yards from the room where he will breathe his last.
“The worst thing is, they took away my music,” Glossip told British journalist Christopher Bucktin of his stark surroundings.
In the wake of his interview with Bucktin, on assignment for The Mirror newspaper, Glossip can now only receive limited visits from family, clergy and lawyers.
In a world exclusive, Bucktin went behind bars to meet 52-year-old Glossip, who has been dreading his execution since he was first jailed in 1998.
“It was a bizarre and deeply disturbing experience – and helped me understand why campaigners like Sarandon are fighting to save this man’s life,” Bucktin said.
Glossip was convicted of first-degree murder for ordering the hit that killed his boss – based on the testimony of the man who actually committed the murder.
Justin Sneed, a handyman at the hotel where the two men worked, was able to avoid execution himself by cutting a deal with the state and fingering Glossip.
When Sneed was 19, he confessed to police that on the morning of Jan. 6, 1997, he beat Barry Van Treese to death, claiming Glossip put him up to it.
However, there is no physical evidence corroborating Sneed’s story.
“When Glossip shuffled in, hands shackled, bent at the waist and wearing prison-issue clothing, he didn’t look like the heinous individuals sharing death row with him,” Bucktin said.
While he seemed defeated by the judicial system, Glossip showed little fear to our reporter, stunning Bucktin with his final pronouncement of innocence.
“It is just crazy for this to be happening in this country, but if I have to do my part to stop this (from happening) again, I will,” the shackled Glossip told Bucktin under the din of an industrial air conditioner.
“I am not afraid to die, but if I do, in my heart and my head I know I was taken from this Earth for something I had no part in.”
Meanwhile, Susan has been giving interviews, posting on Facebook and sending emails asking people to sign a petition to stop the execution.
Susan said: “Rather than accept a life sentence in exchange for a guilty plea, he put his faith in justice – and justice let him down.”
Susan appeared on “Dr. Phil” to put pressure on Governor Fallin, who has the authority to delay the execution by 60 days.
“Fallin argued that (Glossip) had two trials and appeals and a full clemency board hearing (all) ruling his conviction and sentencing are just,” said Susan. “But her argument is grossly inaccurate.”
Susan read a letter from the condemned man on the air. “‘If the worst happens, I want my death not to be in vain,’” Susan said, her voice cracking.
“There’s no forensic evidence,” declared Sister Helen, who joined Susan on the show. “His dying is wrong!”
Top legal experts consulted by The ENQUIRER concur.
Even the daughter of Glossip’s accuser has cast grave doubt on her father’s damning testimony. “For a couple of years now, my father has been talking to me about recanting his original testimony,” O’Ryan Justine Sneed wrote in a letter. “I feel his conscience is getting to him.”
But it may be too little too late for Glossip, who defiantly told our reporter his death will not be without purpose.
“When I am on the table, I really would like Governor Fallin and all the people who put me there to witness my execution. “I’d look at them and say, ‘Look innocence in the eyes before you murder it.’ That way, my blood ends up on their hands. That’s what I want my last words to be.
“No man should die for a crime they didn’t commit.”