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Lawyers, Others Seek To Exonerate Oklahoma Death Row Inmate

Oklahoma Department of Corrections

Lawyers for an Oklahoma death row inmate are searching for ways to exonerate a man scheduled to die in September. The execution will be the first after the Supreme Court’s ruling that upheld the use of the controversial drug midazolam.

Richard Glossip has maintained his innocence since he was convicted of first-degree murder in the 1997 death of Oklahoma City motel owner Barry Van Treese. Don Knight is a Colorado-based attorney who has taken up Glossip’s case. He says the evidence against Glossip is paper-thin and the case itself never should have qualified for the death penalty.

The thing that really stands out in this case, to me, as somebody who has done death penalty work for the last 15 years is how uncertain the evidence is, and yet a decision to pursue the death penalty was made and carried out.

Sister Helen Prejean, who serves as Glossip’s spiritual advisor, met at the state Capitol Monday with members from the Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. She says Glossip’s investigations and trials were flawed from the beginning.

It's going to be really hard to get a hearing in these courts. They're going to say, 'He's been through the courts.' But I have met Richard Glossip, and I know Richard Glossip. And I know he should not die and he must not die."

Glossip is scheduled to die by lethal injection on September 16.

Kate Carlton Greer was a general assignment reporter for KGOU and Oklahoma Public Media Exchange.
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