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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – More than 30 Oklahoma lawmakers are calling for an independent investigator to look into one of the most well-known murder convictions in recent history.
Richard Glossip was sentenced to death for the 1997 murder of his boss, Barry Van Treese.
However, officials say they have always known that Glossip was not the man who actually committed the crime. Instead, prosecutors say that Glossip was the one who hired the convicted killer.
A co-worker of Glossip, Justin Sneed, admitted to beating the motel manager to death with a bat. He claimed that Glossip gave him money to kill their boss.
In exchange for his testimony against Glossip, Sneed was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.
For more than 20 years, Glossip has maintained his innocence.
Now, more than 30 bipartisan Oklahoma lawmakers are calling on Gov. Kevin Stitt to get involved in the case.
On Wednesday, the group sent a letter, requesting an independent investigation into Van Treese’s death before any execution date can be set for Glossip
“Based on newly discovered evidence, it appears that Mr. Glossip may be innocent of this crime,” the letter states.
The letter says that compelling new witness statements and expert reports bring the prosecution’s case into question.
“We do not approach this request lightly. We appreciate how difficult decisions like this are and know how seriously you take them. Many of those who have signed this letter support the death penalty but, as such, we have a moral obligation to make sure the State of Oklahoma never executes a person for a crime he did not commit,” the letter states.
“Killing Richard Glossip without certainty of his guilt will erode public trust, not only in capital punishment, but in the integrity and fairness of the entire Oklahoma criminal justice system,” it went on to read.