Washington, D.C. – Richard Glossip is innocent and his execution would be the result of a wrongful conviction, according to a petition for a writ of certiorari filed by Mr. Glossip’s attorneys today with the United States Supreme Court.
Information on the appeal was circulated to news organizations worldwide the afternoon of Tuesday (September 29).
The petition comes a day after a splintered Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals denied, in a close 3-2 vote, Mr. Glossip’s request for an evidentiary hearing and a stay of execution. Mr. Glossip is scheduled for execution in Oklahoma at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, September 30.
Arguing that the execution of Mr. Glossip would be unconstitutional because of the weakness of the evidence against him, the petition states:
“’The State’s entire case’ against Mr. Glossip turned upon the testimony of Justin Sneed. Glossip v. State, 29 P.3d 597, 560 (Ok. Cr. 2001). Newly discovered evidence completely undermines Sneed’s credibility. Mr. Glossip claimed below that his execution based solely on Sneed’s bargained for, and now provably unreliable, testimony would violate the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments.” (p. I)
The dissent states:
“Glossip’s materials convince me that he is entitled to an evidentiary hearing to investigate his claim of actual innocence…While finality of judgment is important, the State has no interest in executing an actually innocent man.”
Glossip’s attorneys contend in their brief that new evidence, not fully considered by any court, shows that Mr. Glossip is innocent of the murder for which he faces execution. Mr. Glossip was not present during the murder.
Justin Sneed committed the murder and does not face the death penalty. Mr. Sneed avoided death by providing testimony that Mr. Glossip was involved. A lower court has already recognized that “the State’s entire case” rests on Mr. Sneed’s testimony (Glossip v. State, 29 P.3d 597, 560 (Ok. Cr. 2001.)
However, multiple witnesses have come forward to say that Mr. Sneed acted alone. If the state proceeds with Mr. Glossip’s execution, it will be based solely on unreliable information provided by one witness, in exchange for his life.
Glossip’s laewyes note that two new witnesses, Michael Scott and Joseph Tapley, have come forward, “at no benefit to themselves, and offered sworn affidavits that Mr. Sneed revealed that Mr. Glossip had no involvement in the murder. Another new affidavit reveals the extent of Mr. Sneed’s methamphetamine addiction at the time of the crime, and his modus operandi of breaking into cars and hotel rooms to steal to get money for his drug addiction.”
Additionally, new evidence implicates the interrogation of Justin Sneed. Dr. Richard Leo, Ph.D., J.D., is the national, leading expert on police-induced false confessions and erroneous convictions. After reviewing Mr. Glossip’s case, based on decades of social science research, he concluded that law enforcement in this case used the “personal and situational factors associated with, and believed to cause, false confessions.” See Dr. Richard Leo report, App. B.
An analysis of a recent video interview with Mr. Sneed and background information, which reveals multiple, changing stories, can be accessed in the following links.
Justin Sneed Transcribed Interview
Sneed Competency Evaluation, 7.1.97
Detailed Elements from Sneed’s 8 Stories
When Eight is Enough 8.28.15
Donald Knight, one of Glossip’s lawyers, observed in today’s press release:
“This case splintered the Court of Criminal Appeals — a 3-2 vote. Two Judges believed a further stay of execution and a hearing on innocence was required on the facts. We should all be deeply concerned about an execution under such circumstances,” said Donald Knight, one of Mr. Glossip’s attorneys.
Knight’s team of lawyers seeking to present Glossip’s execution includes Kathleen Lord and Mark Olive.