OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Execution dates were announced Friday for six inmates on Oklahoma’s death row, and they include Richard Glossip, an inmate whose guilt is in question.
Glossip’s been sentenced to death three times already, and now a new execution date of Sept. 22 has been set by the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals.
A month ago, a group of lawmakers and lawyers released the results of an independent investigation into Glossip’s case. It was prepared by the law firm Reed Smith, whose attorneys specialize in justice for prisoners. Their 350-page report concluded there was no proof that Glossip hired a man to beat businessman Barry van Treese to death.
“I’m a firm believer in the death penalty in Oklahoma,” stated Glossip supporter and Republican Oklahoma State Rep. Kevin McDugle Friday. “But if we execute Richard Glossip, then I will fight to end the death penalty in Oklahoma, and I’ll do anything and everything I can, because we can’t have a process that allows for an innocent man to be executed.”
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, but Sneed ultimately testified against Glossip in return for a life sentence.
Friday morning, Glossip’s attorney filed for a hearing with the Court of Criminal Appeals, proclaiming his innocence based on Reed Smith’s report.
“There were 200 people that they interviewed that had never been talked to before. Never,” McDugle explained. “Now they have 27 affidavits out of those 200 people saying Justin Snead told them that he lied to get himself off of death row.”
McDugle said there’s also new video of detectives coercing Sneed to pin the murder on Glossip.
Glossip’s execution date of Sept. 22 was announced Friday with six other upcoming executions.
Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor released the following statement:
“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, said the court should remove Glossip’s execution date until it has considered the report.
“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 GLOSSIP
McDugle is in full agreement with Knight.
“I personally believe he’s innocent,” he concluded. “All we’re asking for is let’s have another hearing and show all this new evidence, and if you guys have real proof that he’s guilty, then show it.”
KFOR asked the attorney general’s office if they plan to review the new evidence or hold Glossip’s execution date and they responded, “Our office cannot comment on any pending or active litigation.”
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