Viewpoint: ‘We must be certain about his guilt before we execute’

July 20, 2021

By Reps. Kevin McDugle, Justin Humphrey and Sen. Blake Stephens

Last week, we released a letter signed by 34 Oklahoma state legislators asking Gov. Kevin Stitt to order an independent investigation into the death row case of Richard Glossip, the motel manager convicted of commissioning the murder of Barry Van Treese. Don Knight, Glossip’s attorney, described new evidence his team has uncovered since 2015 that shows that far from a murder-for-hire plot, Justin Sneed, the confessed killer, hatched a plan with his girlfriend to rob Van Treese to support his raging meth addiction, and that Van Treese was killed when the robbery went awry.

More unsettling is information showing that the two Oklahoma City detectives did not conduct a thorough investigation. They failed to investigate numerous leads about a robbery and an accomplice, and only focused on a fabricated theory that Glossip must somehow be involved. Inexplicably, they closed the investigation after just 10 days.  Glossip’s court-appointed lawyers also failed to conduct any meaningful investigation so that none of the evidence Knight’s team was able to find, even after 20 years, came to light until it was far too late.

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