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Oklahoma AG says conviction of death row inmate Richard Glossip should be vacated

Richard E. Glossip, photo from February 2021
Oklahoma Department of Corrections
Richard Glossip

Attorney General Gentner Drummond says Oklahoma should vacate the conviction of death row inmate Richard Glossip.

Drummond issued a brief to the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals Thursday calling for Glossip’s conviction to be vacated in the wake of a review of the case started by his office in January.

“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, including its own Independent Counsel’s review of the case,” Drummond wrote. “Accordingly, the State requests that the Court vacate Glossip’s conviction and that the case be remanded to the district court.”

Drummond also released a copy of the 19-page independent report Thursday, which supports post conviction relief for Glossip.

Glossip was convicted of hiring an accomplice to murder his boss—motel owner Barry Van Treese—in 1997. He has been on death row for more than two decades. His supporters claim he was condemned largely by bad police work, ineffective defense attorneys, false testimony from the actual murderer and dishonest prosecutors.

His execution has been delayed five times, three times in 2015 by former Gov. Mary Fallin, once last year by Gov. Kevin Stitt and most recently by a Criminal Appeals judge following a request by Drummond's office.

He is currently scheduled to be executed on May 18.

Drummond didn’t go as far as to proclaim Glossip’s innocence, but he did note in a news release there was enough doubt of his guilt that the death penalty and his conviction for murder is inappropriate.

Robby Korth joined KOSU as its news director in November 2022.
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