CNN: Death row inmate Richard Glossip’s murder conviction could be vacated after he avoided execution 3 times

April 6, 2023

Oklahoma’s attorney general is asking for a new trial in the case of death row inmate Richard Glossip, who has spent a quarter of a century in prison for the death of his boss in 1997.

“While the State has previously opposed relief for Glossip, it has changed its position based on a careful review of the new information that has come to light,” Attorney General Gentner F. Drummond wrote in a motion filed Thursday in an Oklahoma appeals court.

The request was made after a special counsel report released Thursday recommended Glossip’s capital murder conviction be vacated and that he be granted a new trial.

Glossip, 60, has insisted he was not involved in the killing of his boss, Barry Van Treese. He has narrowly avoided death three times, as previous execution dates ended with reprieves or stays of execution.

It’s now up to the Oklahoma Court of Appeals to decide whether to grant or deny the request for a new trial. Glossip is currently scheduled to be executed on May 18.

Glossip, a former motel manager, has been behind bars for 26 years. He was convicted of capital murder for ordering the killing of Van Treese.

Another employee, then-19-year-old Justin Sneed, admitted to killing Van Treese with a baseball bat in Oklahoma City. But prosecutors told jurors Sneed killed Van Treese in a murder-for-hire plot orchestrated by Glossip.

Sneed received a life sentence in exchange for his testimony against Glossip.

But recently revealed evidence proves Glossip’s innocence, his defense team says.

“It is now clear that it would be unconscionable for the State to move forward with Mr. Glossip’s execution when there is so much doubt surrounding his conviction,” Glossip’s attorney, Don Knight, said in a statement Thursday.

“We thank (Attorney) General Drummond for his courageous decision to take a deeper look at this difficult case and urge the Court of Criminal Appeals to quickly grant the Attorney General’s request and remand Mr. Glossip’s case to the trial court for further proceedings,” Knight added.

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