A group of Republican lawmakers announced Tuesday a Houston law firm is investigating the murder conviction of death row inmate Richard Glossip.
Rep. Kevin McDugle, R – Broken Arrow, said the firm Reed Smith is dedicating 20 attorneys to the investigation into Glossip’s murder conviction. The attorneys will work pro bono, or for no pay.
Representatives Justin Humphrey, Gary Mize, and Senator Blake Stephens joined McDugle at a press conference on Tuesday to announce the third-party investigation.
McDugle said the group will honor Glossip’s death penalty conviction should the investigation find that he was behind the death of Van Treece.
“We don’t want to put an innocent person to death,” McDugle said.
Attorney Stan Perry of the Reed Smith firm said they hope to
“We are not on anyone’s side. We are not counsel to Mr. Glossip,” said Attorney Stan Perry of the Houston law firm Reed Smith.
Perry said the group plans to request assistance from the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office, which prosecuted the case against Glossip, to review evidence from the case.
“I’m going to make a public request to (District Attorney David) Prater,” McDugle said. “Please work with this 3rd party law firm. Please turn over what you can to them—what they request.”
Prater did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication Tuesday.
Glossip has been on death row for 24 years for ordering the 1997 murder of Barry Van Treese. Another man, Justin Sneed, admitted to killing Van Treese after Glossip hired him for the murder. Sneed testified against Glossip and is now serving a life sentence in prison.
Glossip’s murder conviction has garnered national attention and is the subject of a documentary called ‘The Innocent Man.’
A spokesperson for Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor defended Glossip’s conviction on Tuesday.
“Glossip has had 24 years of appeals,” said Rachel Roberts, Director of Communications for the Attorney General’s Office. “It is time for justice to be served for Mr. Van Treese’s family and the people of Oklahoma.”