OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A group of lawmakers pushing to reopen the case of a convicted killer, who’s been on death row since 1998 for a crime he says he didn’t commit, are heading straight to other lawmakers’ office doors.
The legislator spearheading the push is looking to turn other lawmakers into believers and add their names to a long list of people who want the case looked into.
“Our game plan is to do everything we can to get Richard Glossip out of this situation,” said Rep. Kevin McDugle, R-Broken Arrow.
“I want every single legislator to sign on,” said Don Knight, the death row inmate’s attorney.
Rep. Kevin McDugle and Attorney Don Knight are on a mission to add more names to a growing list of lawmakers supporting a new investigation into the 1997 beating death of metro motel owner, Barry Van Treese.
“I think everybody should be concerned about whether an innocent man gets killed or not,” said Knight.
Van Treese’s convicted killer, Justin Sneed, received a life sentence in return for testifying against Glossip. Knight said he’s uncovered new evidence, proving Sneed pointed the finger at Glossip to escape capitol punishment. Glossip has now been on death row since 1998.
“Don has come up with over 200 interviews of people who were never interviewed,” said McDugle. “He now has 25-plus affidavits with people who are actually saying that the guy that actually killed Barry van Treece has admitted that he set up Richard Glossip.”
Last month, Houston-based lawfirm, Reed Smith, agreed to comb through old and new evidence for free. The group of volunteer attorneys will play the role as impartial eyes.
“Don Knight has put 5,000-plus hours into this over a 6-year period of time, and these guys are going to crunch it down and get to it pretty quick,” said McDugle.
The duo is now asking lawmakers not on the list of signatures to hear them out. They hope a long list of signatures will help be more persuasive when the findings are handed over to Gov. Kevin Stitt sometime in April.
“I think the more people that we educate about what’s going on with Richard Glossip, the better off we’ll be because we’ll have more people calling the governor, more people emailing, and that’s what it’s going to take,” said McDugle. “My personal belief is that he’s innocent and that it will come back that he’s innocent.”
“I think that this report is probably going to be the definitive statement on the case, because we are running out of time,” said Knight.
Glossip is part of the federal lawsuit against Oklahoma’s execution protocol. Depending on the outcome, Glossip could be one of the next inmates in line for execution.