Susan Sarandon pleas for stay of execution for death row inmate Richard Glossip
Published 06/08/2015 | 22:40
Susan Sarandon has publicly appealed for the stay of execution of a man scheduled to die by lethal injection next month.
The Hollywood actress told Sky News in an exclusive interview that 52-year-old Richard Glossip is "clearly innocent".
She also said that The Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin was a "horrible person" for refusing to intervene into the execution which is scheduled for September 16.
Glossip was convicted of murder after the man who confessed to the crime - Justin Sneed - told authorities that Glossip had hired him to carry out the killing.
Sneed was handed a prison sentence in return for his testimony while Glossip was sentenced to death, and has been on death for 17 years.
Glossip has always maintained his innocence following the conviction for hiring a colleague to kill his boss.
However, the US Supreme Court have said that Sneed has exhausted all appeals and will face lethal injection in a matter of weeks.
Sarandon (68) told Sky News that Glossip's case is "typical" and demonstrates what is wrong with the death penalty in the US.
"He's put there by a snitch who actually did kill the person, and then the snitch has life and this guy is being put to death on the 16th," she said.
"Once a mistake has been made within a judicial system, people just do not want to admit that mistake has been made and it becomes impossible to readdress them.
"And the only thing now that is going to give him a chance to survive is public opinion - is public embarrassment."
The Oscar-winning actress is urging people to write to Governor Fallin to convince her to grant a stay of execution.
"The governor of Oklahoma is just a horrible person, and a woman, so it's even more discouraging," Sarandon said.
"Being tough on crime means being for the death penalty, somehow that got established, so when you're attempting to protect your political career, you can't ever look at the complexities if you want to keep your mantra going.
"It's never because of some consciousness-raising that these things change, it's because of some kind of embarrassment.
"And so this is where public opinion can make a difference.
"This is where having letters sent to the governor can make a difference, because then they understand.
Sarandon won an Oscar for her portrayal of an anti-capital punishment campaigner in Dead Man Walking.
The 1995 movie was based on a book by the real-life character she played, Sister Helen Prejean, who works with death row prisoners.
Richard Glossip reportedly phoned from Oklahoma State Penitentiary and thanked the actress following the interview