Oklahoma Execution Glossip

FILE - This Feb. 19, 2021, photo provided by Oklahoma Department of Corrections shows death row inmate Richard Glossip. 

Attorneys for death row inmate Richard Glossip asked an Oklahoma appeals court to not schedule his execution to allow a post-conviction review of his case.

McAlester-based attorney Warren Gotcher filed the request with the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals for post-conviction review and objection to setting execution date on Glossip’s behalf stating that a formal filing will be filed with the court by July 1, 2022.

The filing comes after State Rep. Kevin McDugle, R-Broken Arrow, said during a press conference this week that he believes Glossip is innocent based on results of an independent review — which Gotcher referenced in the filing.

“Based on the findings of this independent investigation, including the state’s destruction of evidence, we conclude that the 2004 trial cannot be relied on to support a murder-for-hire conviction,” Gotcher wrote. “Nor can it provide a basis for the government to take the life of Richard E. Glossip.”

Attorneys for the Oklahoma Attorney General’s office filed notices of execution dates with OCCA last week in the case against Richard Glossip and 24 other death row inmates who have exhausted their appeals.

Glossip is suggested to be the second inmate scheduled to be executed, which would take place in September if the current schedule asked for by the AG’s office is granted by OCCA.

Gotcher requests in the report for OCCA to “hold in abeyance” the AG’s request so that proper motions can be filed.

The independent review of Glossip’ case came at the request of an ad hoc committee comprised of 34 Oklahoma state lawmakers, including 28 Republicans.

McDugle said he learned of Glossip’s case a few years ago and had concerns. Now he believes Glossip is innocent after reviewing the report’s findings and despite being pro-death penalty, McDugle said he would fight to end the death penalty in Oklahoma if Glossip is executed.

“If we put Richard Glossip to death, I will fight in this state to abolish the death penalty simply because the process is not pure,” McDugle said. “If we’re going to put people to death, we have to make sure we have a pure process and that the people that are being put to death are deserving.”

Glossip was convicted and sentenced to death for commissioning the 1997 death of Barry Van Treese.

Justin Sneed, a handyman at the hotel Glossip managed, admitted robbing and beating Van Treese to death with a baseball bat after Glossip offered to pay him $10,000. Sneed is serving a life sentence without parole after pleading guilty to the crime and testifying against Glossip.

OCCA has not made a ruling on the filings or on the AG’s request to schedule execution dates as of press time Friday.


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