IACHR Grants Precautionary Measures in Favor of Richard Eugene Glossip on Death Row in the United States of America

March 7, 2022

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Washington, D.C. - On March 3, 2022, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 12/2022, by which it granted precautionary measures in favor of Richard Eugene Glossip, who is currently on death row in Oklahoma, in the United States of America, allegedly under conditions of detention incompatible with international human rights standards. The IACHR considered that he is in a serious and urgent situation presenting a risk of irreparable harm to his rights.

According to the applicant, Richard Eugene Glossip is currently facing the risk of imminent execution by the spring of 2022 in the state of Oklahoma, where he has been held for 23 years in solitary confinement on death row. The applicant also indicated that different dates had been scheduled for the beneficiary's execution, which were postponed even just hours before his execution, a situation that reportedly affects his mental health.

The applicant filed a petition alleging violations of several articles of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, particularly in relation to access to justice, due process, and adequate defense. In addition, she stated that the beneficiary was not adequately represented during the criminal trials against him, claiming negligence by his legal defense in not carrying out an exhaustive investigation into the alleged crimes he was charged with, as well as lack of location of witnesses, non-collection of relevant records and documents, and little performance of cross-examination. For its part, the State refrained from submitting substantive information on the situation of the beneficiary and reported that it had forwarded the request for information to the Attorney General of the State of Oklahoma.

In the resolution, the Commission considered that Richard Eugene Glossip's rights are at risk due to the imminent execution of the death penalty and its consequent effects on his petition currently under consideration by the Commission, as well as his ongoing conditions of solitary confinement on death row and its impact on his rights to life and personal integrity.

Accordingly, the Inter-American Commission requests that the United States of America:

  1. adopt the necessary measures to protect the life and personal integrity of Richard Eugene Glossip;
  2. refrain from carrying out the death penalty on Richard Eugene Glossip until the IACHR has had the opportunity to reach a decision on his petition;
  3. ensure that Richard Eugene Glossip's detention conditions are consistent with international standards; and
  4. agree on the measures to be adopted with the beneficiary and his representatives.

The decision to grant this precautionary measure and its adoption by the State do not constitute a prejudgment of any petition filed with the inter-American system alleging violations of the rights protected in the American Convention and other applicable instruments.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote the observance and defense of human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 047/22

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