Oklahoma AG says Richard Glossip’s conviction should be set aside


“After thorough and serious deliberation, I have concluded that I cannot stand behind the murder conviction and death sentence of Richard Glossip,” Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond announced Thursday. And he asked the state Court of Criminal Appeals “to vacate Glossip’s conviction and that the case be remanded to the district court.”

Drummond filed the motion three days after he received a report from the special counsel he appointed in January to review Glossip’s case. The counsel, former prosecutor Rex Duncan, examined Glossip’s prosecution, conviction, sentencing, and post-conviction appeals.

“In my view, the State must vacate Glossip’s conviction due to its decades-long failure to disclose what I believe is Brady material, correct what I believe was false trial testimony of its star witness, and what I believe was a violation of the Court-ordered Rule of Sequestration of witnesses [requires witnesses to be excluded so they can’t hear the testimony of other witnesses]. In my view, this case is also permeated by failures to secure, safeguard, and maintain evidence in a capital murder case,” Duncan wrote.

And, despite his belief that “Glossip is not actually innocent of criminal culpability in this case,” Drummond states that “the numerous trial and appellate defects throughout the history of this case can be remedied only by remand for a new trial.” 

Richard Glossip, sentenced to death in 1998, was convicted of engineering the 1997 murder of Barry Van Treese, the owner of an Oklahoma City motel where Glossip worked. The actual killer, Justin Sneed, serving a life without parole sentence, implicated Glossip as the crimes mastermind. Glossip has always maintained his innocence. He came close to being executed three times and has had nine execution dates scheduled since his conviction.

The CCA is expected to grant Drummond’s motion. 

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