Governor Mary Fallin today addressed the impending execution of Richard Glossip, a death row inmate convicted of first degree murder. Fallin said the execution, currently set for September 16, will move forward because Glossip is guilty and because, after 17 years of appeals, the legal process has run its course.
“Richard Glossip has been convicted of murder and sentenced to death by two juries. His conviction and death sentence have been reviewed and upheld by four courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States,” said Fallin. “His actions directly led to the brutal murder of a husband and a father of seven children. The state of Oklahoma is prepared to hold him accountable for his crimes and move forward with his scheduled execution.”
Glossip, who managed and lived in a motel, was convicted of paying a coworker to murder his employer, motel owner Barry Van Treese. Justin Sneed, who was also convicted of first degree murder, testified that Glossip offered him $10,000 to kill Van Treese after Van Treese accused Glossip of embezzlement and mismanagement.
At the direction of Glossip, Van Treese was attacked by Sneed in his sleep and beaten to death with a bat. After the murder, Glossip helped Sneed conceal and destroy evidence, lied to the police during numerous interviews, began selling his possessions and told friends he was leaving town.
Glossip was first convicted of Van Treese’s murder and sentenced to death in 1998. The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals then overturned his conviction, citing ineffective legal counsel. In a 2004 retrial, in which Glossip was represented by a legal team with decades of experience in capital punishment cases, he was again convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to death. He appealed that conviction, and his appeal was denied by the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit Court, and then the Supreme Court of the United States.
In 2014, Glossip then asked for a recommendation of clemency from the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board. After speaking to Glossip and listening to hours of argument, the five-member Pardon and Parole Board unanimously voted against a recommendation of clemency.
The governor of Oklahoma does not have the authority to grant any inmate clemency without a recommendation from the Pardon and Parole Board. The governor can, however, grant a stay to delay the execution for a total of up to 60 days.
Fallin said Glossip had years to present any new evidence and delaying his execution would simply postpone the administration of justice.
“Richard Glossip was first convicted of murder and sentenced to death over 17 years ago,” said Fallin. “He has had over 6,000 days to present new evidence. Postponing his execution an additional sixty days does nothing but delay justice for the family of Mr. Van Treese.”