Anti-death penalty attorney Lea Rodger tied the knot with Richard Glossip in a rather untraditional ceremony this week: at Oklahoma State Penitentiary, where her new husband is on death row.
The couple recognize the obstacles they face are not an easy path to blaze, but Ms Rodger, 32, who has spent the last decade campaigning for the abolition of the death penalty, says it is part of what motivated her to marry Glossip now and not wait.
“The only thing he really took away from that is: Don’t take anything for granted … really live in the moment,” Ms Rodger, who is a paralegal but is currently studying to be a lawyer, previously told The Associated Press about her little ceremony on Tuesday.
“I think we’re both doing a good job at that, so it was important to us that we do this now while knowing that we can make this commitment to each other,” she continued.
Glossip, 59, has already narrowly avoided execution three times and could be the next man Oklahoma has executed after the state lifted a nearly seven-year moratorium on executions imposed due to glitches in his and other cases.
“After everything I’ve been through, losing so much of my life and everyone in it, I’ve been blessed beyond imagination,” the death row inmate told the AP in a statement.
Between 1976 and October 2015, 112 people were executed in the state of Oklahoma, but a statewide moratorium was imposed after three consecutive failed or attempted executions.
That was reversed last October when John Marion Grant became the 113th person to be killed by lethal injection, the first execution in the state in more than six years.
The practice of marrying while incarcerated is not entirely uncommon. In fact, in Oklahoma, the state where Ms. Rodger and Glossip were married, there are certain guidelines that prisoners must follow if and when they decide to marry while serving their sentence.
Ceremonies biannually, once in March and once in September. And all expenses associated with the wedding, including transportation to sign a county marriage book, must be borne by either the inmate or non-incarcerated partner.
The state notably doesn’t allow conjugal visits, though Ms Rodger told the Associated Press that she was allowed to hold her new husband’s hand and seal the ceremony with a kiss on Tuesday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report