Oklahoma will execute a man for torturing his girlfriend’s 3-year old son in 1993.
Richard Stephen Fairchild will receive a lethal injection at McAlester’s Oklahoma State Penitentiary. Fairchild turns 63 this Thursday. Fairchild, an ex Marine, was convicted for the murder of Adam Broomhall. Fairchild, a former Marine, was convicted of killing Adam Broomhall by holding his body against a scorching heat furnace and then throwing him onto a table. The child died the next day, having never regained consciousness.
“The method of Adam’s murder cannot be described as torture,” the Oklahoma attorney General’s Office wrote to state’s Pardon and Parole Board. They voted 4-1 against Fairchild’s request for clemency.
Fairchild’s attorneys argue that Fairchild was abused as an infant, is now mentally ill, and has remorse for his actions.
Emma Rolls, Fairchild’s attorney, stated in a statement that Richard Fairchild’s brain had deteriorated and he was now in psychosis. “Yet, despite losing touch with reality Richard remains remorseful and has an unblemished record in prison. Oklahoma has no reason to execute Richard.
Fairchild’s execution will be the seventh since Oklahoma reinstated the death penalty in 2021. This would be Fairchild’s 16th execution this year. It includes one in Texas on Wednesday and one in Arizona, an increase from the previous year’s low of 11. A execution was also planned for Thursday in Alabama.
The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals will also rule on Thursday on a request by Richard Glossip , a death row inmate. This hearing is to determine if a co-defendant tried to retract his testimony that Glossip had hired him to murder Barry Van Treese. Glossip also seeks evidence, according to his lawyers. This includes interviews with witnesses. Glossip made a similar request earlier in the month, but it was rejected by the court.
In the United States, death penalty support has been declining in recent years across all political parties. According to the General Social Survey (a major trends survey by NORC at Chicago), 6 out 10 Americans support the death penalty. Although a majority still supports the death penalty, their support has been declining steadily since 1990s when almost three quarters of Americans were in favor.