An Innocent Man on Death Row in Oklahoma: Tell the Governor to Investigate New Evidence in Richard Glossip Case

The Honorable Governor Kevin Stitt and Members of the Oklahoma State Pardon and Parole Board

Oklahoma is Preparing to Execute an Innocent Man While the Confessed Murderer Serves Life and the Accomplice Is Still At Large.

It’s one of the most controversial cases in America: Richard Glossip has been on Oklahoma’s death row for 23 years, even though everyone agrees another man, Justin Sneed, actually committed the murder. Glossip’s conviction was based primarily on statements made by Justin Sneed. But new evidence shows the killing was a botched robbery carried out by Sneed and a female accomplice, and Glossip wasn’t involved. Now, while Sneed serves a life sentence, Glossip’s execution may be fast approaching.

Sign now to tell the Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt and the State Pardon and Parole Board urging them to order a thorough and independent investigation into new evidence that casts serious doubt on the conviction of Richard Glossip.

Background:

Police and prosecutors believe Justin Sneed and an accomplice murdered Barry Van Treese in 1997. Sneed confessed to the crime, but it is increasingly evident police arrested the wrong accomplice. When detectives interrogated Sneed, they asked him to name his accomplice so Sneed would not “hang alone,” but Sneed never gave them a name. Instead, the police fed Sneed a name—Richard Glossip.

Sneed went along with their suggestion to avoid the death penalty and keep his real accomplice, most likely his girlfriend, off detectives’ radar. Once Sneed gave detectives the version of the story they were looking for, they stopped working the case, less than two weeks after the murder. Their brief investigation was not credible. However, Glossip’s lawyers, working pro bono since 2015, have conducted the comprehensive investigation the police never did. Their findings demand that this case be thoroughly and independently investigated before a fourth date is set to kill Mr. Glossip.

New Findings:

Glossip’s lawyers found a witness who was in jail with Sneed a few weeks after his arrest and heard Sneed spill the truth about the murder: It was a robbery for drug money, planned and carried out by Sneed and his girlfriend, and Richard Glossip had nothing to do with it. The attorneys found other people incarcerated with Sneed in 1997 and later who, completely independent of one another, shared the same story with verifiable details.

The legal team uncovered new evidence about Sneed's raging drug addiction — a clear motive for a robbery-turned-murder. They found witnesses who will testify that Sneed was a thief and would steal “anything not bolted down” to feed his meth habit. They also found a woman who knew Sneed’s girlfriend and will testify about the girlfriend’s escape on the night of the murder while wearing a blood-stained shirt. All these new witnesses have signed affidavits sworn under oath.

Glossip’s attorneys found forensic evidence, including fingerprints from the crime scene that were not Sneed’s, Glossip’s, or the victim’s, that have never been searched through databases. There is ample evidence a woman was in the room with Sneed during the murder, which police have ignored.

Glossip’s lawyers also had experts, including several medical examiners and two forensic accountants, look at the evidence prosecutors used at trial. They found that many of the facts the District Attorney had alleged about the crime and the motive simply were not true.

Glossip’s lawyers found paperwork showing that the police, at the request of the District Attorney’s office, destroyed critical evidence even before Richard Glossip’s second trial, including items that were inside the motel room during the murder. This has never been explained.

Also without any explanation, the District Attorney continues to ignore defense requests and withhold key evidence, including, but not limited to: All documentation of an alleged polygraph test (which the State used against Glossip at his 2014 Clemency hearing), security camera footage that has never been seen, evidence seized from Sneed’s room that might help identify the accomplice, and notes from detectives that might contradict their later reports and trial testimony.

Executing Richard Glossip in the face of this new evidence and information, and these many questions, is unjust and immoral. Glossip’s attorneys are not asking that he be freed, but only that a fully independent investigation be conducted, and a report issued, before any execution date is set. Otherwise, Oklahoma risks killing a man for a crime he did not commit.

Glossip’s supporters are respectfully calling on Governor Kevin Stitt and the State Pardon and Parole Board to order a thorough and independent investigation into this new evidence so they will have a complete understanding of the facts prior to making the critical decision on whether Richard lives or dies. Even supporters of the death penalty agree no one wants to see an innocent man killed for a crime he did not commit. The State of Oklahoma cannot afford to get this wrong.



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To: The Honorable Governor Kevin Stitt and Members of the Oklahoma State Pardon and Parole Board
From: [Your Name]

I respectfully call on you to order a thorough, independent investigation into new evidence no jury has seen that casts serious doubt on the conviction of Oklahoma death row inmate Richard Glossip. This is one of the most controversial capital cases in America and the State of Oklahoma must be certain it is not executing an innocent man.

Glossip has been on death row for 23 years, even though everyone agrees that another man, Justin Sneed, actually committed the murder of Barry Van Treese and the evidence increasingly shows the killing was a botched robbery carried out by Sneed and a female accomplice, and Richard Glossip wasn’t involved. This evidence must be investigated to ensure a just result.

Thank you very much for your consideration.