OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt announced a second stay of execution for death row inmate Richard Glossip.

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.

Barry Van Treese and his family
Barry Van Treese and his family

Sneed confessed to beating Van Treese with a bat. However, 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.

Richard Glossip, image KFOR
Richard Glossip, image KFOR

Earlier this year, Texas-based law firm, Reed Smith, agreed to independently investigate the case for free.

After 3,000 hours of work and a nearly 350-page report, they determined “no reasonable jury would have convicted Richard Glossip.”

Investigators pointed to flawed interrogations, lack of crime scene logs, and missing evidence.

In August, the law firm released newly discovered evidence in the case, citing an urgent need for a new evidentiary hearing.

Officials say they have a handwritten statement from Sneed from 2007, implying that his testimony implicating Glossip “was a mistake.”

Also, they uncovered a letter to Sneed from an Oklahoma public defender who suggested that if he recanted his story, he would face the death penalty.

On Wednesday, Gov. Stitt issued an executive order for a second stay of execution for Glossip, citing the need to allow the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to complete their review of a petition for a new hearing.

“We are extremely grateful to Governor Stitt for once again issuing a 60-day reprieve for Richard Glossip, to assure that the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals can fully address the innocence and prosecutorial misconduct claims they are now reviewing.  We are also so appreciative of the tremendous support Rich has received from the 62 Legislators who signed the letter asking the OCCA to grant Rich an evidentiary hearing, and from Representatives McDugle and Humphrey’s ad hoc committee, whose investigators, the global law firm Reed Smith, continue to work pro bono for the people of Oklahoma.  The newly uncovered evidence shows a concerted effort by the State to destroy and hide evidence that is favorable to Rich, even to this day, and, most shockingly, to manufacture trial testimony they needed to convict him.  There is now overwhelming support for what Reed Smith has concluded after its thorough investigation — that no reasonable juror who heard all the evidence would find him guilty.  The defense team will continue to work to overturn this wrongful conviction and give Rich the fair trial he never received.”

DON KNIGHT, GLOSSIP’S ATTORNEY

On behalf of the 62 Oklahoma legislators who signed a request for an evidentiary hearing based on new evidence, I am thankful for Governor Stitt’s wise decision to grant Richard Glossip a 60-day reprieve, to give the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals time to complete its work.  Every new day brings more evidence of Mr. Glossip’s innocence, and it is our hope that the OCCA rejects the Attorney General’s bogus arguments, which I have refuted here, and comes to the only just conclusion possible— that a new trial is warranted.  Oklahomans–including both those who support and oppose the death penalty–will not tolerate Mr. Glossip being executed while there is so much proof that the police and District Attorney lost and destroyed important evidence, wrongfully altered critical testimony, and continue to purposely hide evidence to this day.  This is a great example of how Governor Stitt is tough but fair-minded.  In the face of this overwhelming evidence now, more than ever, I urge the OCCA to either reverse his conviction entirely or quickly grant the full evidentiary hearing that his attorneys have requested.  This is the only way to begin to right this terrible wrong.”

REP. KEVIN MCDUGLE (R-BROKEN ARROW)

Reed Smith, the independent law firm working with the OK Legislative Ad Hoc Committee, recently issued a supplemental report with expert testimony recommending a new evidentiary hearing in the case.

This is the sixth time Glossip has had an execution date stayed or reprieved and second by Gov. Stitt.

His execution was set for Dec. 8, 2022 but has now been stayed until Feb. 16, 2023.