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    Oklahoma prepares to execute man for three-year-old’s killing

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Oklahoma plans to execute a man for the torture slaying of his girlfriend’s three-year-old son in 1993.

    Richard Stephen Fairchild, who turned 63 yesterday, is set to receive a lethal injection at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. Fairchild, an ex-Marine, was convicted of killing Adam Broomhall after the child wet the bed. Prosecutors said Fairchild held both sides of his body against a scorching furnace, then threw him into a table. The child never regained consciousness and died later that day.

    “The method of Adam’s murder can only be described as torture,” prosecutors from the Oklahoma attorney general’s office wrote to the state’s Pardon and Parole Board, which voted 4-1 last month against recommending clemency for Fairchild.

    Attorneys for Fairchild argue that he was abused as a child, is mentally ill and is remorseful for his actions.

    “As Richard Fairchild’s brain has deteriorated, he has descended into psychosis, a fact well-documented in his prison records,” one of Fairchild’s attorneys Emma Rolls said in a statement to the board.

    Richard Fairchild. PHOTO: AP

    “Yet despite having lost touch with reality, Richard remains remorseful for his crime and continues to have an unblemished prison record. There is no principled reason for Oklahoma to execute him.”

    Fairchild’s execution would be the seventh since Oklahoma resumed carrying out the death penalty in October 2021. It would be the 16th execution in the United States (US) this year, including one in Texas and one in Arizona on Wednesday, up from last year’s three-decade low of 11. An execution was also scheduled in Alabama.

    Also yesterday, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals ruled on a request from death row inmate Richard Glossip for a hearing to determine whether a co-defendant sought to recant his testimony that Glossip hired him to kill motel owner Barry Van Treese. Glossip is also seeking what his attorneys allege is evidence that was withheld by prosecutors, including interviews with witnesses. The court rejected a similar request by Glossip earlier this month.

    The US has seen waning support in recent years for the death penalty across political parties.

    About six in 10 Americans favour the death penalty, according to the General Social Survey, a major trends survey conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago.

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