OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – TV star, Phil McGraw, better known as Dr. Phil, joined the chorus of supporters at the State Capitol who want Richard Glossip taken off of death row.

“When I really dug into it, it was very, very unsettling. The fact that it involved Oklahoma and really hit home to me,” said Dr. Phil.

Glossip has been on death row since he was convicted in 1997, for hiring Justin Sneed to kill Glossip’s boss, Barry Van Treese. Sneed took a plea deal to avoid the death penalty and pointed the finger at Glossip.

“I think he lied to make the deal that he made, But I think the man that did it confessed to it and is in jail. And justice has been served in that,” said Dr. Phil.

State Attorney General, Gentner Drummond, urged the pardon and parole board to grant Glossip clemency, questioning how the trial was handled, alleged destroyed evidence, and that Sneed allegedly lied to the jury and took lithium for mental illness.

“Attorney General Gentner Drummond is the first attorney general in the history of Oklahoma to have the courage to stand up and say we made a mistake here,” said Dr. Phil.

Ultimately, the Pardon and Parole Board voted to deny Glossip clemency.

“We felt so betrayed by the Oklahoma Attorney General Drummond,” said Alana Van Treese, Barry Van Treese’s sister.

On Friday, while Glossip and his wife were saying their final goodbyes, there was a major breakthrough announced.

Dr. Phil and Lea Glossip at Oklahoma State Capitol. Image KFOR.
Dr. Phil and Richard Glossip’s wife, Lea Glossip, at Oklahoma State Capitol. Image KFOR.

“That would be our last hug, our last feather, our left physical goodbye, which was going to be extremely gut wrenching for us to go through that,” said Lea Rodger. “The warden came in and pulled us out to the hallway and told us the U.S. Supreme Court, had issued a stay. And we just crumbled together.”

Dr. Phil said he wanted to be clear. Not only is he calling for justice for Glossip, but also Barry Van Treese and his family. He claims to be an advocate them.

In a statement, Van Treese’s family called the publicity “concerning and frankly disappointing.”

“The May 2023 stay of execution by the Supreme Court was always a possibility, but it’s still a disappointing further delay in a case that has already gone on for 26 years. The stay is not a finding that Glossip’s recycled arguments have any merit, nor is it the “hail Mary” that the defense is making it out to be. There are two pending petitions for writ of certiorari before the USSC. These petitions are discretionary, meaning that the USSC doesn’t have to review them, but the stay gives the court the necessary time to ensure it makes a considered decision.

“The number of legislators, TV personalities, and the like, supporting a twice-convicted murderer is highly concerning and frankly disappointing. Because, at the end of the day, according to the law, Richard Glossip is guilty of murder in the first degree. The law states that due process has been completed, not one, but two trials were held, and two juries found the defendant guilty and sentenced accordingly. Appeals have been heard and denied, repeatedly. The OCCA has denied post-conviction relief multiple times. The defendant has had his day in court.

“No family should be forced to endure 26 years of litigation–particularly where all the issues have been fully and fairly evaluated by the Oklahoma court system.

“Working with Paul Cassell, a law professor at the University of Utah, the family is planning to file its own, independent brief in the Supreme Court, urging the Court not to overturn Mr. Glossip’s conviction. As the carefully considered view of the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, contained in a lengthy and detailed opinion, should be the last word on the subject and the case should be concluded.

“Once the USSC makes its ruling, the only thing left to be done is for the State of Oklahoma to fulfill its duties as defined by law, and per the policies and procedures of the Department of Corrections.”

Derek Van Treese