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April 20, 2023

Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, rejecting state AG's motion, refuses to set aside Richard Glossip's capital conviction

As detailed in this prior post, earlier this month, Oklahoma's Attorney General filed a motion to vacate the conviction of death row inmate Richard Glossip in the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals.  That motion today was rejected, as detailed in this local article headlined "Oklahoma court won't overturn Richard Glossip's conviction; execution date set."  Here are the details:

A state appeals court has rejected a request to vacate the conviction of a high-profile death row inmate. The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals on Thursday said it will not vacate Richard Glossip’s murder conviction following a request from Attorney General Gentner Drummond.

After an independent review of Glossip's case cast doubt on the death row inmate's murder conviction, Drummond asked the appeals court to vacate Glossip's conviction. Drummond said he will review the ruling and consider his next steps. He expressed opposition to the state moving forward with Glossip's execution.

"While I respect the Court of Criminal Appeals’ opinion, I am not willing to allow an execution to proceed despite so many doubts," Drummond said in a statement. "Ensuring the integrity of the death penalty demands complete certainty."

An attorney for Glossip said he will file an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court. Don Knight, Glossip’s attorney, said it is “unconscionable” for the Oklahoma appeals court to force the state to move forward with this execution....

Glossip was convicted of first-degree murder for allegedly orchestrating the 1997 beating death of his Glossip has long maintained that he was framed for Van Treese’s murder. His attorneys claim that their client was set up by a motel maintenance man who they argue killed Van Treese during a botched robbery and shifted the blame to avoid getting the death penalty himself.

Glossip’s fifth application for post-conviction relief provides no new information to convince the court to overturn his conviction, according to the 5-0 opinion written by Judge David Lewis. “This case has been thoroughly investigated and reviewed in numerous appeals,” Lewis wrote in the majority opinion. "Glossip has been given unprecedented access to prosecution files, including work product, yet he has not provided this Court with sufficient information that would convince the Court to overturn the jury’s determination that he is guilty of first-degree murder.”...

The appeals court also refused to delay Glossip's execution any further. Glossip is set to die by lethal injection on May 18.

The full 25-page ruling of the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals is available at this link.

April 20, 2023 at 02:08 PM | Permalink


A court with balls.

Posted by: federalist | Apr 20, 2023 3:49:23 PM

All this proves is that appeals courts would rather cut their own arms off than admit they screwed up. The justifications they gave to dismiss are pitiful and are more "Shut the fuck up and don't point out that we got it wrong" rather than any principled stand

Posted by: Lordyam | Apr 21, 2023 12:08:40 AM

This dude is so f'in guilty. Shifting stories, unexplained $ etc.

Posted by: federalist | Apr 21, 2023 9:50:31 AM


I don't know what the "etc." part is. But I do think that a death sentence should be based on overwhelming evidence that reaches near certainty. I don't think shifting story or unexplained money does that. For example, there are plenty of people who are innocent of a murder but lie to the police. There are even false confessions, frequently with multiple changes in story, i.e. Jay Wilds.

I don't know this particular case, so I can't really opine on whether the proof here is sufficiently overwhelming or not.

Posted by: William C Jockusch | Apr 21, 2023 11:17:15 AM

I respect that view, Mr. Jockusch.

Posted by: federalist | Apr 21, 2023 11:41:49 AM

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