OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – In a packed room the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board decided to deny clemency to convicted murderer Richard Glossip Wednesday. During a video call, Glossip claimed his innocence and apologized to anyone he hurt.
“That’s a long time coming from Glossip,” said Carrie Jarbo, niece of murder victim Barry Van Treese.
“I’m not a murderer and I don’t deserve to die for this,” said Glossip during his video call.
Glossip is scheduled to be executed on May 18. The five-person board voted 2-2 after one member had to recuse themselves because their spouse had a past involvement in Glossip’s case.
| OK AG asks court to vacate conviction of death row inmate Richard Glossip >
The case goes back to 1997 when Glossip and Justin Sneed were convicted of killing Glossip’s boss and owner of the Best Budget Inn, Barry Van Treese. Sneed confessed to beating Van Treese with a bat.
Van Treese’s widow and son, Donna and Derek Van Treese, asked the board to deny clemency.
“I feel like justice has finally been served after 26 years,” said Donna. “This just shows you what a real family is. We have been together since the very beginning.”
In a historical move, the State Attorney General Getner Drummond showed up Wednesday supporting clemency for Glossip.
“We have felt so betrayed by the Oklahoma Attorney General Drummond,” said Alana Van Treese Mileto, sister to Barry. “For the longest time he had been talking to us saying that he believed wholeheartedly Glossip was the murderer. What he said today and has been saying, that’s been taking us through a loop.”
“Public confidence in the death penalty requires that these cases receive the highest standard of reliability,” AG Drummond said. “While the State has not questioned the integrity of previous death penalty cases, the Glossip conviction is very different. I believe it would be a grave injustice to execute an individual whose trial conviction was beset by a litany of errors. My heart truly hurts for the Van Treese family and what they have experienced over the past 26 years,”Oklahoma Attorney General Getner Drummond
“Years ago on a conference call with our family I asked if he was going to fight for our family and he said yes,” said Alana. “Normally the AG’s office stands for the truth. So, it is such a betrayal.”
Glossip’s attorney Don Knight responded to the denial by saying they would contact the Governor next.
“We call on Governor Stitt to grant a reprieve of Richard Glossip’s scheduled execution on May 18, 2023 because the execution of an innocent man would be an irreversible injustice. We will pursue every avenue in the courts to stop this unlawful judicial execution. New evidence has shown that Justin Sneed, the person who committed the murder and the star witness for the prosecution, lied on the stand and wanted to recant his false testimony. If the jury had known what we know now, they never would have convicted Mr. Glossip.”Don Knight, representing Richard Glossip
Drummond and others have stated recently that they don’t believe that Glossip is innocent but that several issues have arisen surrounding his jury trial.
Issues like trial evidence that was destroyed while his appeal was pending and the state’s failure to disclose potentially exculpatory evidence, including that the key witness against Glossip, Sneed, lied to the jury about his psychiatric treatment and reasons for taking the mood-stabilizing drug lithium. But the court rejected that request last month, paving the way for Glossip’s May execution.
There is no way to appeal the board’s decision, and Stitt would have needed the board’s recommendation in order to grant clemency.
Knight also has a petition that was last heard to be headed to the U.S. Supreme Court in the hopes of stopping the execution from happening.