Death row inmate Richard Glossip case to go before SCOTUS

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — The case of death row inmate, Richard Glossip, will be going before the United States Supreme Court this year. Glossip was sentenced in 1997 for the murder-for-hire of his former boss, Barry Van Treese.

Richard Glossip’s attorneys said they’re hopeful the case being heard in the Supreme Court will finally give them a fair trial, which is something they said has not happened before.

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“We’re going to keep fighting. We won’t ever stop until justice is done for rich,” said Don Knight, attorney representing Richard Glossip.

Months after Richard Glossip’s attorneys sent the case to the Supreme Court, justices have decided to take up their attempt to overturn his death sentence.

“He’s been waiting 27 years to get to this point. What it does for us is, it validates what we’ve been saying for the last four years,” said Rep. Kevin McDugle, R-Broken Arrow.

“We’re extremely grateful that the court has given us this opportunity to argue the case,” said Knight.

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Knight and McDugle both said the case and trials have had problems.

“We believe that the Court of Criminal Appeals was wrong in its decision to not follow the direction of the Attorney General of Oklahoma and to see to it that Rich gets a real fair trial,” said Knight.

There’s two ways the case could go when it hits the Supreme Court. The first is sending it back to Oklahoma.

“Then it will be up to the DA’s office of Oklahoma County as to whether or not they have enough evidence to retry Richard Glossip,” said McDugle.

The second option, McDugle said, is that the Supreme Court could argue the previous trials were fair the first time, which would clear the way for Glossip’s execution.

“We’re confident that it’s going to go the other way,” said McDugle.

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The family of Barry Van Treese released a statement after the news was announced Monday morning.

It appears that the Supreme Court has decided that the issues at question are important and are looking for more detail to ensure that they have the necessary information to move forward. Although we were cautiously hopeful that the Supreme Court would deny the requests presented by Glossip, thereby preventing additional delay in this 27 year old case, this was always a possibility. We are continuing to trust in the system to perform its duties in the pursuit of justice.  

Within the state of Oklahoma, this entire process highlights the lack of care and support for victims and their families that should be a basic tenet for those in office. Instead of focusing on the facts presented at trial, the two juries decisions to convict, and numerous denials within the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, it’s unfortunate that this case has been latched onto by anti-death penalty groups, and that some within our state are using this as a platform for political gain.  

The outcome of these proceedings will not only affect our family, but every other family weathering this process. Our hearts go out to those victims and their families and we can only continue to hope that no one else has to endure, as we have, the added pain and frustration of this process.

Van Treese Family

Glossip has been on death row for over two decades, and his execution has been delayed nearly 10 times.

The Associated Press is reporting Glossip’s case will be heard in the Supreme Court later this fall.

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