Gov. Fallin responds to execution request

Richard Glossip

Richard Glossip

Updated: Governor Mary Fallin issued an additional statement after the Oklahoma Court of Criminal appeals today granted a two-week stay of execution to Richard Glossip:

As I have repeatedly said, court is the proper place for Richard Glossip and his legal team to argue the merits of his case. My office will respect whatever decision the court makes, as we have throughout this process.

“My thoughts and prayers go out to the Van Treese family who has suffered greatly during this long ordeal.” Richard Glossip was convicted of paying to have his boss, Barry Van Treese, beaten to death in 1997.

In refusing a stay of execution from her office as Governor Fallin said yesterday, “For months, and as part of a larger publicity campaign opposing the death penalty, Richard Glossip’s attorneys have been publicly claiming to have new evidence that exonerates their client. During that time, my office and I have urged them to bring that so-called evidence to the proper venue: a court of law.

“Not only have Glossip’s lawyers not done so, but they have actively rejected requests from public officials to examine whatever materials they have. His attorneys even refused to share the contact information of so-called ‘new witnesses’ with Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater and with my office.

“Yesterday, forty-eight hours before Glossip’s scheduled execution, his attorneys presented my office with a binder of what they have labeled ‘new evidence.’ After reviewing it with my legal team, we have determined the vast majority of the limited content they have presented is not new; furthermore, we find none of the material to be credible evidence of Richard Glossip’s innocence. After carefully reviewing the facts of this case multiple times, I see no reason to cast doubt on the guilty verdict reached by the jury or to delay Glossip’s sentence of death. For that reason I am rejecting his request for a stay of execution.

Governor Mary Fallin

Governor Mary Fallin

“Nevertheless, I join our district attorney in urging Glossip’s legal team to present whatever information they have to a court of law. Courts, unlike my office, have the legal authority to grant an indefinite stay of execution or a retrial.

“Courts are the proper venue to present new information or evidence, and the attorneys representing Glossip have a moral and ethical duty to file legal documents and make their case in front of a judge.

“I hope the execution brings a sense of closure and peace to the Van Treese family, who has suffered greatly because of Glossip’s crimes,” Governor Mary Fallin added.