By Daniella Dueñas
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals Thursday denied another request from death row inmate Richard Glossip for a hearing to delay Glossip’s execution here, and to discover if a co-defendant sought to recant his testimony claiming Glossip hired him to kill motel owner Barry Van Treese.
Glossip’s attorneys claim that evidence was withheld by prosecutors, including interviews with witnesses. And that the witness implicated Glossip to avoid being executed.
The court rejected a similar request by Glossip earlier this month and on Thursday ruled the matters are not eligible for review because they either were settled previously by courts, could have been presented in earlier appeals or were not raised within 60 days of their discovery, according to CBS Reports.
Glossip has been on death row in the state of Oklahoma for 24 years. However, Glossip will be facing consequences for a crime, a murder, that he did not commit, claim his lawyers, who said the murder was committed by Justin Sneed, the man called on as a key witness of the case.
Sneed’s testimony and statements about Glossip led to Glossip’s conviction, but the undisclosed evidence now demonstrates Sneed wanted to take back his testimony, said Glossip’s lawyers.
The evidence that was withheld from Glossip’s attorneys could have changed the outcome of the trial completely, according to evidence developed by the Reed Smith independent investigation’s Third Supplemental Report.
Essentially, the evidence revealed Sneed had been discussing both verbally and through notes about taking back his testimony throughout the 11 years of the case. The notes were to his attorney, including, “Do I have the choice of recanting at any time during my life?” and suggesting his declaration was “a mistake.”
Not only had Sneed talked about recanting to his attorneys, but investigators also found that over the course of the trials, he also talked to his mother and his daughter about taking back his testimony, said Glossip’s lawyers.
During Glossip’s trial, the prosecutor worked with Sneed’s attorney to give Sneed information before testifying in order to get him to say something differently on key evidence, according to Glossip’s defense.
This information was allegedly found on a memo in a file from the District Attorney’s office that had not been presented to Glossip’s attorney even though it needed to be disclosed at the time of the trial, not after.
In response to this new discovery, Don Knight, Glossip’s attorney, stated that “We are extremely disappointed that instead of giving us this opportunity, the Court improperly assumed the role of factfinder, and closed our opportunity to begin to right this tragic wrong. But our fight to free this innocent man will never end.
“It is now clear that the District Attorney’s office has been withholding exculpatory information from the Glossip defense team ever since the trial, and we know there is still more information they have not shown us. What are authorities so afraid of? It is critical that a full review of all the evidence be conducted before the State of Oklahoma makes the irrevocable mistake of executing an innocent man.”