AG's office to review Glossip case

Jan. 27—Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond ordered an independent review in the case of death row inmate Richard Glossip, who is scheduled to be executed in May.

Glossip was twice convicted and sentenced to death in the 1997 death of Barry Van Treese before his execution was rescheduled multiple times and a law firm's review brought to light new evidence and challenges in the case within the past year. Drummond said it is the responsibility of his office to appropriately respond to all evidence in the case.

"Circumstances surrounding this case necessitate a thorough review," Drummond said in a press release. "While I am confident in our judicial system, that does not allow me to ignore evidence. This review helps ensure that justice is served, both to the Van Treese family and the accused."

Glossip was first scheduled to die on Sept. 30, 2015, when then-Governor Mary Fallin issued a last-minute stay after learning the state did not have the correct drugs before executions were put on pause before resuming in 2021.

The death row inmate was originally scheduled to be executed Feb. 16 after Gov. Kevin Stitt issued a second stay to allow time for OCCA "to address pending legal proceedings."

A motion made by Drummond's office asking for more time in between executions was granted by the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals with Glossip's execution now scheduled for May 18.

Glossip's attorney Don Knight said he was thankful for the comprehensive review in the case.

"From the beginning of our work on this case, all we have asked for is a fair review of all the evidence," Knight said. "The new evidence we have uncovered since 2015 shows conclusively, as the first independent investigation by Reed Smith found, that no reasonable juror who viewed all the evidence would find Mr. Glossip guilty of murder for hire."

Drummond said his office retained Rex Duncan to review "all aspects of the investigation, trial, sentencing, and appeals process."

Duncan is a retired colonel in the Oklahoma Army National Guard who previously served as district attorney in Osage and Pawnee Counties, as well as District 35 Representative in the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

An Oklahoma ad hoc committee requested an independent review into Glossip's case in February 2022, with an Oklahoma legislator believing the results prove Glossip's innocence.

State Rep. Kevin McDugle, R-Broken Arrow urged the AG's office during a June 2022 press conference to review the report and the new evidence and said that if Glossip was put to death, he would fight to end the death penalty in the state of Oklahoma.

Stan Perry, a lawyer for Reed Smith, said during the June 2022 press conference 30 attorneys worked 3,000 pro-bono hours in creating the report that will be reviewed as part of the AG's order.

"We are confident that this new investigation will reach the same conclusion," Knight said. "Richard Glossip is innocent of this crime. We look forward to fully cooperating with Rex Duncan so that he can complete his work as expeditiously as possible, and the state can begin to right this terrible wrong."