OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The family of a murder victim is calling on the Supreme Court to deny clemency for a death row inmate.
Richard Glossip has been on death row for 25 years for the murder of Barry Van Treese.
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.
Although Sneed confessed to beating and killing Van Treese with a bat, Sneed testified that Glossip hired him to kill Van Treese.
In exchange for his testimony, Sneed was given a life sentence. Glossip was sentenced to death.
Over the years, Glossip has had his execution date delayed at least eight times.
Most recently, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked Oklahoma from executing Glossip after Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond said the case deserved reexamination.
Specifically, Drummond said the key witness against Glossip lied on the stand about his psychiatric condition and his reason for taking the mood-stabilizing drug lithium.
In an amicus brief filed on Monday, the Van Treese family argued that none of the new evidence presented by Glossip’s attorneys prove his innocence or should prevent his execution.
On Monday, the Van Treese family released the following statement:
“After the abandonment of our family during the April 26th clemency hearing and the lip service delivered in follow-up phone calls, I feel compelled to express my disappointment and dismay over the stance taken by the Office of Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond. I have observed with great concern the Attorney General’s recent positions on matters for which his predecessors and the courts of Oklahoma have already ruled. The decisions made by our courts, deemed just and fair, should be upheld and respected by the elected officials of our state.
Let me state this as clearly as possible: The Office of the Attorney General does NOT have the power to unilaterally decide the “fairness” of a sentence. Nor should legislators of our state attempt to use their office to compel personal beliefs and public opinion upon legal matters.
While the office of attorney general is the highest law enforcement position in the state, this isn’t the wild west, and the Attorney General does not have the power of judge, jury, and executioner.
My family hopes and prays that the U.S. Supreme Court will deny the petition and bring this case to a conclusion after 26 long years.”Derek Van Treese, Barry Van Treese’s son
Following the family’s brief, The Innocence Project and six legal scholars filed separate friend-of-the-court briefs in support of Richard Glossip.
“Even at this late stage of his case, the State has only recently disclosed evidence showing it knew its critical witness, Justin Sneed, was lying and yet did not correct the record for the jury. The State agrees this failure, and the cumulative effect of the other errors in this case, require a new trial before Mr. Glossip can be punished at all, let alone put to death,” the petition states.