Richard Glossip’s Attorney Responds to Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals denial of hearing on Wrongly Withheld Evidence, Prosecutorial Misconduct

Oklahoma City — On November 17, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals denied the second application for a hearing filed by death row inmate Richard Glossip, which argued that prosecutors did not disclose key evidence to Glossip’s attorneys, and worked with Sneed to change his testimony in the middle of trial.

Glossip has always maintained his innocence.

The newly-discovered evidence comes from a Third Supplement to the Reed Smith independent investigation which found that the state’s key witness, Justin Sneed, talked about recanting his testimony over the course of 11 years, both before and after Glossip’s second trial, including a handwritten note in which he asks his attorney, “Do I have the choice of recanting at anytime during my life?” and a second note stating that his testimony was “a mistake.”

That information should have been, but never was, shared with Glossip’s attorneys and could have resulted in a different outcome in the trial, which relied heavily on Sneed’s testimony given as part of a plea deal that spared Sneed his own death sentence.

The investigation also included a series of conversations Reed Smith lawyers had with Justin Sneed in late August and early September in which he agreed that over the years he had talked to his daughter and his mother about recanting, something he had previously denied.

A memo, recently discovered in the files from the District Attorney’s office, also details how the trial prosecutor worked behind the scenes with Sneed’s attorney during Glossip’s trial to improperly feed Sneed information before he testified, in what appears to be an improper, yet successful, attempt to get Sneed to change his testimony on a key point of evidence.

This memo had been withheld from Mr. Glossip’s team, despite a duty to disclose it during the trial, until September of this year.

Richard Glossip’s attorney, Don Knight, said in response to the appeals court ruling, “The only thing we asked for in our two petitions was a fair hearing on our newly discovered evidence that the jury never heard. We are extremely disappointed that instead of giving us this opportunity, the Court improperly assumed the role of factfinder, and closed off our opportunity to begin to right this tragic wrong.

“But our fight to free this innocent man will never end. It is now clear that the District Attorney’s office has been withholding exculpatory information from the Glossip defense team ever since the trial, and we know there is still more information they have not shown us.

“What are the authorities so afraid of? It is critical that a full review of all the evidence be conducted before the State of Oklahoma makes the irrevocable mistake of executing an innocent man.”

Richard Glossip has been on Oklahoma’s death row for 24 years. It is not disputed that another man, Justin Sneed, actually committed the murder. Glossip’s conviction is based almost entirely on statements made by Justin Sneed that it now clearly appears he wanted to recant.

Today’s denial from the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals can be accessed here:

More information about Glossip’s case can be found at