Richard Glossip Receives Chance at Freedom as Supreme Court Hears His Death Penalty Case  

Photo of Supreme Court/Joe Ravi, CC BY-SA 3.0

By Sofia Hosseinzadeh, Jonathan Nunez and Olivia Biliunas 

WASHINGTON, DC – The Supreme Court Monday decided to hear the death row case of Richard Glossip, who has been on death row for more than 25 years for the murder of Barry Van Treese—that Glossip claims he did not commit.

According to the defense, Glossip’s execution has been rescheduled nine times since the original execution date in 2015, and currently he is set to be executed in August 2024.

In Richard Glossip’s various petitions for Writ of Certiorari to the State of Oklahoma, Glossip writes, “The additional errors prosecutors injected into the case are numerous and significant.”

His appeals note injustices by the prosecution, including the Attorney General suppressing evidence of Justin Sneed’s desire to recant his testimony and the prosecution attempting to get Sneed to entrap Glossip.

From writing to the State of Oklahoma with petitions for Writ of Certiorari, a court process that appeals for a higher court to review a decision made by a lower court, to ultimately writing his petition to the Supreme Court in 2023, Glossip hopes to reclaim his innocence, said his lawyers.

In a court order published Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to Richard Glossip’s petition for Writ of Certiorari and he now has a chance to stand in a fair and honest trial.

“While the State previously opposed relief for Glossip, it has concluded, based on careful review of new information that recently came to light relating to prosecutorial misconduct at Glossip’s trial and cumulative error, that Glossip’s conviction and capital sentence cannot stand” wrote the State of Oklahoma in its brief supporting Glossip’s Supreme Court trial.

The State of Oklahoma concludes, “A state court cannot stand in the way of the known remedy for this type of federal constitutional due process violation. Accordingly, the State agrees with petitioner that the (Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals’) decision refusing to remedy a conceded Napue violation cannot stand.”

As Don Knight, attorney for Glossip, commented,  “Two independent investigations cast grave doubts on the reliability of Mr. Glossip’s conviction. We are gratified that the United States Supreme Court has agreed that it is worthy of full consideration and look forward to our chance to help the Justices understand why it is critical that Mr. Glossip finally be given his chance at a fair trial.”

“Mr. Glossip is innocent of the murder for which he faces execution. He has no criminal history, no history of misconduct during his entire time in prison, and has maintained his innocence throughout a quarter century wrongfully on death row.”

“It is time—past time—for his nightmare to be over. The Court should reverse the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, which has inexplicably refused to accept the State’s confession of error,” Glossip’s other attorney, John Mills, wrote.

Glossip’s execution date is stayed until the U.S. Supreme Court hears the case.

About The Author

Olivia Biliunas is a fourth year student at UC Davis pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and a minor in Professional Writing. With a passion for the field of law she hopes to one day find herself making an impact on other people's lives as a lawyer. In her spare time she loves to go skiing and wakesurfing.

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