Death Penalty abolitionists Capitol press conference asking for clemency for death row prisoner Richard Fairchild
Oklahoma City — On Friday, October 7, the Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (OK-CADP) will host a press conference to plead for mercy for death row prisoner Richard Fairchild, who has been on death row for 26 years and is scheduled to be executed on November 17.
The event is set for the State Capitol ground floor press room.
Speakers at the press event will be Emma Rolls, Oklahoma’s First Assistant Federal Public Defender for the Western District of Oklahoma; State Senator George Young Oklahoma City; Jasmine Brown-Jutras, ACLU-OK Managing Organizer; and Rev. Don Heath, OK-CADP chair. Also speaking is Jasmine Brown-Jutras, ACLU-OK Managing Organizer.
“Mr. Fairchild is now suffering from the effects of major mental illness, namely schizoaffective disorder, leaving him tortured with continued delusions,’ said Rolls.
“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 the clemency petition, Mr. Fairchild was raised in an extremely abusive home riddled with 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 the 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.
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.
“Richie Fairchild has been a model prisoner and has repeatedly expressed remorse for killing Adam Broomhall,” Heath, the OK-CADP chair, 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.”