An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.  - Gandhi

OK-CADP pleads for clemency during press conference for death row prisoner Richard Fairchild

OKLAHOMA CITY – On Friday, October 7, 2022 the Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (OK-CADP) held a press conference asking for mercy for death row prisoner Richard Fairchild, who is scheduled to be executed on November 17.

The press event, which was held at the Oklahoma State Capitol, can be viewed HERE. Note: The video begins at 4:45 in.)

Speakers included Emma Rolls, Oklahoma First Assistant Federal Public Defender for the Western District of Oklahoma; State Senator George Young; Jasmine Brown-Jutras, ACLU-OK Managing Organizer; and Rev. Don Heath, OK-CADP chair.

“Mr. Fairchild is now suffering from the effects of major mental illness, namely schizoaffective disorder, leaving him tortured with continued delusions,’ Oklahoma First Assistant Federal Public Defender. “His psychosis has been confirmed over the course of years by Oklahoma’s Department of Corrections and often goes untreated.  Mercy is now fitting.”

According to Mr. Fairchild’s clemency petition, available here, Richard was raised in an extremely abusive home riddled by alcohol and substance abuse.  He has significant brain damage due to the repeated head trauma he received as an amateur, teenage boxer. Evidence of organic brain damage – a factor the United States Supreme Court has deemed crucial in a death penalty case – was never explored or presented by Mr. Fairchild’s attorneys.

Had counsel conducted a reasonable investigation into Fairchild’s history of organic brain damage, the jurors would have understood that frontal lobe brain damage is directly related to chronic impulse control issues – an issue directly related to the crime. 

Also noteworthy is the fact that trial counsel’s failure in presenting this information was due in part to counsel’s own substance abuse issues, which ultimately resulted in his suspension from the practice of law years later.  Mr. Fairchild’s appellate attorney informed the state court that counsel did not have the resources or time to conduct a thorough review into trial counsel’s failings.

Despite these critical limitations, Fairchild’s inadequate legal process proceeded and procedurally prevented relevant claims from being heard by subsequent courts.  The Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission identified funding issues of the type that impacted Fairchild as presenting “serious difficulties to these organizations’ capacity to comport with national standards for capital cases . 

“Richie Fairchild has been a model prisoner and has repeatedly expressed remorse for killing Adam Broomhall,” Heath said. “He is 62 years old and suffers from brain damage. He already has served 25 years in prison for his crime and is asking to be allowed to die in prison of natural causes instead of by poisoning by the state. This case cries out for mercy and forgiveness.”

Mr. Fairchild’s clemency hearing, which is open to the public, is scheduled for Wednesday, October 12 at 9 a.m. at Kate Barnard Community Corrections Center, Ted R. Logan Meeting Center, 3300 N. Martin Luther King Avenue, in Oklahoma City.

To watch the press conference video, click HERE. (Note: The video begins at 4:45 in.)


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