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The lawyers for Richard Glossip, a oklahoma man death row prisoner accused of murdering his boss in 1997, filed a clemency petition with the Oklahoma Board of Pardon and Parole on Friday.
Lawmakers and Glossip’s attorney are seeking clemency after the 59-year-old, who spent 25 years in prison for his murder for account conviction and maintains his innocence to this day, had his execution delayed three times. His next death date is scheduled for September 22.
“Time is running out for Richard Glossip,” Glossip attorney Don Knight said in a statement Friday. “Over 40% of the Legislature and many wonderful Oklahomans fear the state is executing an innocent man. It’s not too late to save him, and we hope this appeal to members of the Board of Pardons for the clemency will be heard, forwarded to the Governor, and acted upon.
FOURTH EXECUTION DATE OF DEATH ROW INMATE RICHARD GLOSSIP SET AS LEGISLATIVES SEEK NEW HEARING TO PROVE INNOCENCE
The petition states that Glossip “had no criminal record and was a model prisoner for over 25 years as he maintained his innocence”, and that the death row inmate is currently facing his fourth execution date. while Justin Sneed, who Glossip’s attorneys allege is the “real killer…serving a life sentence for the same crime.”
Glossip was sentenced to death in the 1997 murder of Barry Van Treese. Prosecutors allege Glossip killed Van Treese, the owner of a motel where Glossip worked as a manager, by convincing a then 19-year-old maintenance worker year-old Justin Sneed to carry out his murder.
Sneed is serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to beating Van Treese to death with a baseball bat in 1997 in an Oklahoma City motel room. Sneed testified that he killed Van Treese, but only after Glossip, the motel manager, promised to pay him $10,000 to commit the crime.
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“His conviction is the result of an inexcusably negligent police investigation, coercive and unreliable interrogation techniques, the state’s intentional destruction of vital physical evidence before trial, the presentation by prosecutors of unverified evidence and unreliable and incompetent state-provided defense attorneys, among other failures of the justice system,” the petition filed Friday reads.
A total of 62 Oklahoma state lawmakers, including 46 Republicans broadly pro-death penalty, have requested an evidentiary hearing for Glossip based on a 340-page report by law firm Reed Smith. alleging conviction for murder-for-hire and death. penalty are unfounded.
Knight, Republican Oklahoma State Rep. Kevin McDugle, other Oklahoma state lawmakers and Glossip’s defenders say he was wrongfully charged after an investigator allegedly convinced Sneed to incriminate Glossip in his testimony. Knight also alleges that prosecutors in the case destroyed or lost evidence that apparently could have changed Glossip’s fate.
“I can’t find a single shred of evidence to present in court today,” McDugle previously told Fox News Digital. “If the jury had seen how investigators led Justin to… [point] put your finger on Richard, he wouldn’t be on death row today. I mean, it’s an amazing case.”
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The Reed Smith law firm’s report on the Glossip case concludes that “the twice-convicted man’s 2004 trial cannot be relied upon to support murder-for-hire”. conviction. Nor can it provide a basis for the government to take the life of Richard E. Glossip.”
The law firm also said last week that it had since uncovered more information that further supports its findings in the Glossip case, including a letter from Sneed.
“Our team will continue to investigate the case and conviction of Richard Glossip as new information has continued to become available since the release of our initial report,” Reed Smith partner Stan Perry said in a statement Tuesday. “We anticipate that this work will continue until a final decision is made on the Glossip case.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.