Last January Richard Glossip’s execution was stayed at the last moment so that the Supreme Court could judge the constitutionality of Oklahoma’s lethal injection protocol, a protocol that had led to a seriously botched execution.
In a 5-4 verdict, the Court decided the method was constitutional and Oklahoma immediately rescheduled Richard’s execution for September 16. He now faces almost certain death unless Gov. Fallin can be persuaded to give his lawyers more time to present crucial evidence of his innocence.
Sr. Helen Prejean, the author of “Dead Man Walking”, declared she eventually will accompany Richard to the execution in case he will not get a stay.
In January of 1997, Richard Glossip worked as the manager of the Best Budget Inn in Oklahoma City, and he lived on the premises with his girlfriend D-Anna Wood. Justin Sneed, who admitted killing Barry Van Treese [the motel owner], was hired by Glossip to do maintenance work at the motel... On January 6, 1997, she [Donna Van Treese, the victim's wife] and Mr. Van Treese reviewed the books and discovered $6,101.92 in shortages for the Oklahoma City motel in 1996. Mrs. Van Treese testified her husband intended to ask Glossip about the shortages...
This 'shortage' is supposedly the reason Richard felt he would be fired. It's a bizarre notion: that a reasonable person would think killing the boss would prevent his termination. And by all accounts Richard was a reasonable person, having successfully managed fast food businesses as well as motels.
Even more important: there are no records showing this. Richard's attorney requested the accounts, and was told they'd been lost in a flood. There was no other evidence of this 'motive' for the crime, other than the testimony of Mrs. Van Treese. Up to that point Richard had received monthly bonuses for the work he was doing in keeping the rooms rented.
Justin Sneed, by all accounts, had placed himself in a position where he was totally dependent on Glossip. Sneed started living at the motel when he came to Oklahoma City with a roofing crew from Texas. Sneed quit the roofing crew and became a maintenance worker at the motel. He made no money for his services, but Glossip provided him with a room and food.
The "by all accounts" statement obviously does not include Richard's. Sneed was not "totally dependent" on Richard. He could have returned to the roofing crew at any time, and in fact did so after he fled the murder scene.
The testimony at the trial about Sneed's 'dependence' on Richard included statements that he was Richard's 'boy', and would do anything for him. The portrait presented was of Sneed as an innocent victim of Richard's wily machinations. It is simply not true. In fact, he had juvenile convictions for burglary and a bomb threat, was expelled from school for fighting other students and teachers, and was known as a "troublemaker." Needless to say, Richard had nothing in his records to suggest he was anything other than a normal law abiding citizen.
Sneed said he only met Van Treese a few times, and he saw him at the motel with Glossip on the evening of January 6, 1997.
Sneed testified that around 3:00 a.m. on January 7, 1997, Glossip came to his room. Glossip was nervous and jittery. Glossip wanted Sneed to kill Van Treese and he promised him $10,000.00 for killing Van Treese. Sneed testified that Glossip had asked him to kill Van Treese several times in the past and the amount of money kept getting bigger and bigger.
Here's where things start to become surreal. Sneed's testimony is taken as fact, despite the following:
- He only implicated Richard at the suggestion and urging of the Detectives who took his confession; he initially denied anyone else's involvement.
- He refused to repeat his testimony at Richard's second trial.
- He changed his story numerous times
Sneed went over to the Sinclair Station next door and bought a soda and possibly a snack. He then went back to his room and
retrieved the baseball bat. Sneed said he went to Van Treese’s room and entered using a master key that Glossip had given him. Van Treese woke up and Sneed hit him with the bat. Van Treese pushed Sneed, and Sneed fell into the chair and the bat hit and broke the window. When Van Treese tried to get away, Sneed threw him to the floor and hit him ten or fifteen times. Sneed also said that he pulled out a knife and tried to stab Van Treese a couple of times, but the knife would not penetrate Van Treese. Sneed received a black eye in the fight with Van Treese. He later told others that he fell in the shower and hit his eye.
Richard is on death row. Taking a second innocent life does not honor the life of the innocent victim.
Eventual further infos on the case are available on the website www.richardeglossip.com