(UnitedVoice.com) – The state of Oklahoma is set to execute 44-year-old Anthony Castillo Sanchez in September. He was convicted of murdering a young ballerina in 1996. As his execution date approaches, the killer has said he won’t be asking Governor Kevin Stitt (R) for clemency.
On June 22, Sanchez told reporters with Newsweek that he doesn’t intend to request a clemency hearing before the Pardon and Parole Board. The Choctaw Nation member explained that he’d seen other inmates, like James Coddington and Bigler Stouffer, executed even though the board granted clemency. Those executions were carried out because Stitt rejected the recommendations.
There are legitimate questions about whether Sanchez committed the 1996 murder of a University of Oklahoma student, Juli Busken. The 21-year-old dancer was kidnapped from her home and found dead later. She’d been raped and shot in the back of the head. Her murder went unsolved for years until DNA from the crime scene hit, and Sanchez was arrested in 2004.
Sanchez was 18 when Busken was murdered. He maintains he’s innocent and did not kill her. He’s not the only one saying it.
#AnthonySanchez, a member of the #ChoctawNation, deserves the same vigorous reinvestigation and passionate advocacy that was received by #RichardGlossip, a White man. #Oklahoma deserves the truth.https://t.co/kTWbXTBezM #Oklahoma25 #FreeAnthonySanchez
— Death Penalty Action (@DeathPenaltyAct) May 23, 2023
Charlotte Beattie, the former girlfriend of Anthony’s father, Thomas Glen Sanchez, claims he actually confessed to the murder. In a media interview, she said that the elder Sanchez told her that he hogtied the victim and then shot her after he assaulted her. He reportedly told her that he’d kill her, too, if she ever said anything to anyone.
Lawyers for Sanchez filed a petition with the courts recounting Beattie’s allegations, but in May, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals ruled it was hearsay. Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond has said the evidence of Sanchez’s guilt is overwhelming, citing the DNA evidence. The elder Sanchez’s DNA was tested and did not match the crime scene. The AG went on to say the convicted killer “is guilty beyond any conceivable doubt, and [he] will ensure justice is served.”
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