OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As anti-death penalty advocates and even state lawmakers scrutinize his conviction, high-profile death row inmate Richard Glossip’s execution date has been set once again.
This time it is set for September 22.
Glossip’s date was set Friday along with 5 other death row inmates. This comes after a long fight on Oklahoma’s execution protocol and a federal judge ruling that it is constitutional.
“I personally believe that we might have an innocent man on death row,” said Rep. Kevin McDugle, R-Broken Arrow in a mid-June press conference detailing the findings of Reed Smith law firms investigative report.
Just about two weeks ago, lawmakers including McDugle were proclaiming Glossip’s innocence based on an independent law firm’s investigative report into his case.
“Our conclusion is that no reasonable juror, hearing the complete record and the uncovered facts detailed in this report, would have convicted Richard Glossip of capital murder,” said Stan Perry, with Reed Smith in the same mid-June press conference.
Glossip was convicted in the 1997 murder of his boss and hotel owner Barry Van Treese. He was accused of hiring Justin Sneed to beat Van Treese to death. Years later, the law firm Reed Smith claims they found things in Glossip’s criminal investigation that “cast grave doubt as to the integrity of Glossip’s murder conviction and death sentence.”
“Help me do what we can to make sure that Oklahoma always has the highest level of integrity when we put people to death,” McDugle said in mid-June. “When we get it wrong, let us be big enough that we can stand up and say we got it wrong and right that wrong.”
Glossip and several other death row inmates recently challenged the execution protocol in the courts. A federal judge ruled against their arguments.
Friday, Attorney General John O’Connor issued a statement that can be read in full below.
“Today, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals set execution dates in six cases involving the murders of eight individuals: Albert Hale, Barry Van Treese, Brianna Cole, Adam Broomhall, Mary Bowles, Jerald Thurman, and A.J. and Patsy Cantrell. The earliest of these murders was committed in 1993, and the most recent was in 2003. The family members of these loved ones have waited decades for justice. They are courageous and inspiring in their continued expressions of love for the ones they lost. My office stands beside them as they take this next step in the journey that the murderers forced upon them. Oklahomans overwhelmingly voted in 2016 to preserve the death penalty as a consequence for the most heinous murders. I’m certain that justice and safety for all of us drove that vote.”Attorney General John O’Connor
Glossip’s attorney Don Knight disagreed with the decision. The full statement from him can be read in full below.
“We respectfully disagree with the decision of the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to set an execution date for Richard Glossip before the findings of the Reed Smith Report on his case, and new evidence of his innocence, can be heard in a court of law. Just weeks ago, an independent investigation requested by Republican lawmakers was completed by more than 30 highly respected attorneys from nationally renowned law firm Reed Smith. These lawyers, who spent over 3,000 pro bono hours investigating this case, discovered a police investigation riddled with errors and neglect, detectives with fatal ‘tunnel vision,’ a reckless prosecution, unconscionable destruction of evidence, a miserable failure by Glossip’s court-appointed attorneys, and new evidence showing that Rich Glossip had nothing to do with the murder. Richard Glossip has been through three tortuous execution dates already. It does not serve justice to set a fourth execution date for an innocent man before all this new evidence can be fully considered in a court of law. Public reaction to this new evidence makes clear that Oklahomans, even those who support the death penalty, do not want to see an innocent man executed. We implore the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to strike Richard Glossip’s execution date until this new information can be fully considered.” – Don Knight, attorney for Richard GlossipGlossip’s attorney Don Knight
“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 in mid-June.
KFOR was also told more evidence was submitted by Knight to the Court of Criminal Appeals on Friday.
The scheduled execution dates for all six death row inmates is as follows:
- James Coddington – Aug. 25, 2022
- Richard Glossip – Sept. 22, 2022
- Benjamin Cole – Oct. 20, 2022
- Richard Fairchild – Nov. 17, 2022
- John Hanson – Dec. 15, 2022
- Scott Eizember – Jan. 12, 2023