Recent News

(661) 336-9335

The Fight for Richard Glossip's Innocence

Posted by Sara Cooper | Jun 08, 2023 | 0 Comments

If there is anything to say about the death penalty, it's the case of Richard Glossip. He was just halted an execution of stay by the Supreme Court but remains on death row. He's been in prison since 2004, and his life has been reliant on a pedestal for a crime he didn't commit. The justice system is to blame.

In 1997, Glossip was a manager at a motel in Oklahoma, a good employee with no prior criminal background. His boss was the owner, Barry Vee Tresse, someone that was always looking out for his customers and enjoyed being the head of a business in a small town. Their relationship had no conflicts either. Their handyman, Justin Sneed, a young man who struggled with drugs and had many undiagnosed mental illnesses, had shot Barry multiple times in one of the suite rooms to receive money for drugs and had told Glossip the next morning that he got into a fight with people nearby and broke on the of windows. This ended up to be quickly shifted with then fully admitting he killed Barry. Glossip didn't really take it seriously, with the understanding that Sneed was addicted to meth and went back to sleep.

Time past by and nothing was further mentioned, even with Glossip making sure Sneed had fixed up the broken window and Barry was declared missing. Eventually, his body was found, and an investigation was ran though. This is where Glossip's whole live changed a full 360.

Sneed had worked with the police and got a deal to testify that Glossip had paid him 10,000 dollars to kill Barry. Glossip was sentenced to life in prison without parole and leading to a conviction of receiving the death penalty. His case was appealed in 2077, the same criminal procedural cycle happened again, and he was on the death penalty list. He has been not only close to being executed not once or twice but three times with eating his last meal and getting that last hug and kiss from his wife and loved ones.

Yes, this is what I would call psychological torture and the strength Glossip has for being in a position that he never deserved to be established with at this point becomes even more frustrating. With many mistakes Glossip made despite not knowing what was yet to come in 1997, and Sneed eventually recanted his crimes in 2007 in a handwritten letter. With the justice system's response, nothing had changed to undo Glossip's conviction.

Over the years, the GOP, multiple attorneys and legal organizations, and community members have been a collective form of support for Glossip to be acquitted from the death penalty and the conviction overall. A big attraction to Glossip was a documentary that had come out called “Killing Richard Glossip,” affecting folks who had called this disturbing and enacted developments that gave Glossip light to his name. Oklahoma representative Kevin McDugle has been a forefront of fighting for Glossip's life, stating that if this doesn't have a good outcome, he will ensure the remainder of his life will be devoted to abolishing the death penalty in the state of Oklahoma. McDugle has already been working on legislation that would put a moratorium on the death penalty and to reopen the clemency that State Attorney General Gentner Drummond had requested that was strongly opposed by the Court of Criminal Appeals in Oklahoma. This is where the biggest roadblock has been the prevention of Glossip getting the justice he deserves, and it's been an eyeopener for so many constituents and politicians inside and out of the state.

The Court of Appeals is pretty much, the enemy in this current position of trying to get Glossip off of the death penalty list, including the Department of Corrections. When Glossip has had his “last meal” before he was planned to be killed, many officers in the DOC were in offense to be a part of this procedure, a consensus that knows that Glossip is innocent. The DOC has had deep tension with the courts and legislators for a very long time, with the biggest issue is the high demand of death penalties enforced to be done on a yearly basis which impacts correctional officers' mental health.

Their issue with not approving the clemency was that there was not any evidence of actual innocence yet simultaneously, not enough evidence of actual guilt (only towards Justin Sneed). The board of this decision had a 2-2 vote, with one member redacted from this decision as his wife was the prosecutor on Glossip's trial. Their reason in addition was that “nothing was new here.” Multiple lookovers and reports have been done on this case with Glossip, including a 343-page report conducted by Reed Smith LLP, a law firm that was appointed by state lawmakers and discovered that there was action of the destruction of evidence, and Glossip was deprived of a fair and lawful trial. This was a collective effort by law enforcement and the prosecution team to hinder the defense team of making a strong case that would have ended this harm that Glossip has been breathing and thinking of for almost 30 years.

With this stay authorized by the Supreme Court, Glossip and his wife Lea have more hope and transparency that there is a possible light at the end of the tunnel. Two petitions from his legal team are currently in review and the Innocence Project has issued an amicus brief to the court.

For detailed coverage and updates and to learn more on what you can do to get involved, please visit these publications:

About the Author


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment



Our Law Firm Is Here for You

We focus on Domestic Violence and Driving Under the influence and we are here to listen to you and help you navigate the legal system. Contact us today.