By SEAN MURPHY, Associated Press writer
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma appeals court on Thursday denied death row inmate Richard Glossip’s request for a new evidentiary hearing that his attorneys say would prove his innocence in the brutal 1997 death of the boss of Glossip at an Oklahoma City motel.
Glossip’s attorneys raised several propositions in asking the Court of Criminal Appeals for a rehearing, including that he is factually innocent of the murder, that the state destroyed vital evidence, that his lawyers were ineffective, and that he is intellectually disabled.
But the court noted that Oklahoma law does not allow defendants to continue to appeal issues that were previously raised or could have been raised earlier but were not. The court also questioned Glossip’s theory that his co-defendant, Justin Sneed, acted alone or with his girlfriend to rob and kill Barry Van Treese.
“The evidence he presents to support this theory consists of affidavits from prison informants, drug dealers, exotic dancers and residents of the Best Budget Inn,” the court wrote. “These affidavits do not provide the clear and compelling evidence that Glossip would have this court believe.”
Glossip, who has long maintained he was innocent in the murder-for-hire of Van Treese, has narrowly avoided execution on several occasions, including in 2015 when his lethal injection was canceled at the last minute when the wrong drug was delivered to the prison. This drug mix-up led to a moratorium on the death penalty in Oklahoma that lasted more than six years before the state resumed executions last year.
Earlier this month, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt granted Glossip another temporary stay of execution scheduled for Dec. 8 to give the Court of Criminal Appeals more time to consider his final appeals. minute. A separate appeal alleging misconduct by the prosecutor and an attempt by his co-accused Sneed to recant is still pending in court.
“We have yet another motion pending with the court exposing Sneed’s desire to recant his testimony against Rich and, most shockingly, documenting the prosecutor’s gross misconduct in coaching Sneed to alter his testimony mid-trial,” Glossip attorney Don Knight said, “Our fight to free this innocent man will continue, and we remain optimistic that truth and justice will prevail, both for Rich and for the citizens of Oklahoma.”
Prosecutors agree that Glossip did not kill Van Treese, but argue that he paid Sneed, the hotel’s maintenance man, to do so. Sneed, who received a life sentence but was spared the death penalty, was a key witness in two separate trials in which Glossip was found guilty.
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