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Attorney General O’Connor Responds to Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals Decision in Glossip Case

OKLAHOMA CITY - Attorney General John O'Connor released the following statement, “Over twenty five years ago, on January 7, 1997, 54-year-old Barry Van Treese was murdered with a baseball bat in Oklahoma City. In 2004, an Oklahoma County jury convicted Richard Glossip of First-Degree Murder for hiring Justin Sneed to kill Mr. Van Treese. The Glossip conviction has been affirmed through numerous appeals and challenges. Today, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals denied Glossip’s recent challenge, concluding that Glossip failed to show that he is innocent of the murder. The Court takes claims of factual innocence ‘seriously’ and thoroughly reviewed Glossip’s application. The Court recognized, as we have said all along, ‘Far from making a claim of factual innocence, Glossip actually raises a theory of a defense’ considered by the Court in prior appeals or applications. The Court further found ‘no evidence that Sneed has ever sought to recant his testimony in any meaningful way’ and that his testimony was ‘corroborated by compelling evidence.’

“The litigation in this case is not over, but we are relieved for the family of Mr. Van Treese and for the people of Oklahoma that, after waiting so long for justice to be served, one more stage of litigation is behind them.”