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New evidence uncovered in murder case of death row inmate who was set to die last week

New evidence uncovered in murder case of death row inmate who was set to die last week

Richard Glossip recently avoided execution for the fourth time, having spent 24 years on death row

A man in the US had avoided execution for the fourth time - and now, new evidence in the murder case which saw him convicted has been revealed.

Richard Glossip, a former motel manager from Oklahoma, was due to be executed last week after being sentenced to death for allegedly hiring a hitman to murder his then-boss, Barry Van Treese. 

But after his lawyers insisted that there is newly uncovered evidence that will prove his innocence, the Governor of Oklahoma allowed the convicted murderer more time to fight his case. 

The 59-year-old's lawyers have filed a clemency petition - with support from 62 Oklahoma state representatives - for a new evidentiary hearing in his murder case.

Glossip has spent 24 years on death row.
Oklahoma Department of Corrections

"If the state wants to dispute any of this, we'd welcome that. We'd welcome the hearing. We're not asking anyone to let Richard Glossip go. We're just saying, give us that chance. Give us that hearing," Don Knight, Glossip's attorney, said during a press conference last Thursday (22 September), Fox News reports.

Knight said evidence uncovered in an independent investigation by the Reed Smith law firm showed prosecutors' alleged attempts to feed information to another man involved in the case, Justin Sneed, which ultimately prevented him from becoming a primary suspect.

In 1997, Glossip was convicted of planning Van Treese’s murder, having allegedly hired 19-year-old hitman Sneed. 

While Sneed received a life sentence for his part in the murder, Glossip was sentenced to death. 

However, he has strongly maintained his innocence ever since, launching multiple appeals against his conviction while awaiting lethal injection. 

Over the years, his execution has been scheduled three times - having even been given three 'final meals', one of which included fish and chips, a Wendy's Baconator burger and a strawberry milkshake – before a fourth date was set for 22 September this year. 

Governor Kevin Stitt issued a temporary reprieve to Glossip, postponing the scheduled September execution to December to provide the Oklahoma courts time to determine whether they would grant Glossip a hearing on his innocence claim, according to the Death Penalty Information Center

Anti-death penalty advocate Nancy Norvelle protests against scheduled execution of Glossip in Oklahoma City in September 2015.
REUTERS/Alamy Stock Photo

"This stay is granted to allow time for the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to address a pending legal proceeding," Stitt's executive order stated. 

Following the news, Glossip's attorney Don Knight said in a statement: "We are extremely grateful for Governor Stitt's thoughtful and compassionate decision to grant a 60-day reprieve for Rich's execution date, and to do so sufficiently in advance of the 23 August clemency hearing to spare everyone the trauma that such a hearing entails. 

"This will also spare Mr. Glossip from beginning the cruel execution protocol for a fourth time.

"We note that new evidence of innocence continues to be uncovered on an almost daily basis, including compelling evidence of admitted killer Justin Sneed's desire to recant his testimony accusing Mr. Glossip of orchestrating the murder of Barry Van Treese."

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Featured Image Credit: Oklahoma Department of Corrections/Mark Jenkinson/Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: US News, Crime