Many Furious As Oklahoma Death Row Inmate Set To Be Executed In May
Richard Glossip has eaten three last meals as he awaited three different executions for a murder he insists he had no involvement in.
On April 20, 2023, Oklahoma death row inmate Richard Glossip was denied another appeal to vacate his murder conviction. He faces execution in May.
60-year-old Glossip has already eaten three last meals as he awaited three different executions that were stayed only hours before he was to be put to death, reported CNN.
On Jan. 7, 1997, a young man named Justin Sneed took a baseball bat and beat Barry Van Treese to death at the Best Budget Inn in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Van Treese owned the hotel, and Sneed worked in maintenance. At the time, Glossip was the hotel’s manager.
In a plea bargain to avoid the death penalty himself, Sneed confessed to killing Van Treese yet said that Glossip had told him to commit the murder. Sneed later retracted the claims about Glossip in a confession letter.
According to The Intercept, Glossip has always maintained his innocence since he was first arrested in the winter of 1997. He refused to accept any plea bargains, but he was first convicted of murder in July of 1998. That conviction was eventually thrown out in 2001. However, he was tried again and once again convicted in August of 2004.
The Guardian reported that the only evidence used to convict Glossip was Sneed’s accusations since there was no corroborating evidence or forensic evidence. Many believe that his conviction is unjust and that he should not be executed. In fact, ProPublica pointed out that his “claims of innocence have drawn an unusually bipartisan array of supporters, including 28 Republican state lawmakers, most of whom support the death penalty.”
Glossip also has several celebrity and high-profile supporters, including Mark Ruffalo, Susan Sarandon, Peter Sarsgaard, Sir Richard Branson, and Sister Helen Prejean.
In June of 2022, an inquiry into Glossip’s conviction showed that “inexcusable” conduct by the prosecutors impacted the case, reported CNN. In fact, Stan Perry of the law firm Reed Smith that conducted the investigation said, "Our conclusion is that no reasonable jury, hearing the complete record and the uncovered facts detailed in this report, would have convicted Richard Glossip of capital murder.”
In January 2023, Glossip learned of his ninth execution date: May 18, CNN reported.
On April 6, 2023, a special counsel report recommended Glossip’s capital murder conviction be vacated and that he be granted a new trial, citing newly uncovered evidence in his case. Two weeks later, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals denied the bid to vacate the murder conviction.
Despite public outcry in this case, Glossip’s execution is still set for May 18.