Richard Glossip is an American man who is currently on death row at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary after being convicted of organizing the 1997 murder of Barry Van Treese. At the time of his arrest in 1998, Glossip was only 34 years old and had no previous record involving violence or felony arrests. Glossip is the only prisoner on death row in Oklahoma who has no prior felony convictions. During his 20 years of wrongful imprisonment, he has never broken a single rule and has remained a model inmate. Barry Van Treese was the owner of a motel called Best Budget Inn and had employed Richard Glossip as the motel’s manager where he worked for two years before the murder occurred. Glossip was living in an apartment behind the motel with his girlfriend at the time and spent their days running the motel for his boss while Van Treese ran his other motels throughout Oklahoma. Justin Sneed, the maintenance man working at the motel, is the man who has confessed to murdering Barry Van Treese. This is where the story gets frustrating for me because I believe Richard Glossip is innocent and the justice system has gotten this wrong. Glossip’s defence team has claimed that Justin Sneed was addicted to methamphetamines and murdered the victim with the motive of collecting the thousands of dollars Van Treese had on him at the time, to support his habit. Sneed entered the motel room that Van Treese was sleeping in and allegedly attempted to steal his car keys, to obtain the money, stashed in the trunk. Sneed claims Van Treese woke up, and the brutal fight broke out. Sneed was armed with an aluminium baseball bat and beat Van Treese to death, because “he wouldn’t give up the money.”
The prosecution’s star witness was the accused murderer himself, Justin Sneed. Sneed has been evaluated by a psychiatrist a number of times and they have concluded the same outcome, Sneed was incompetent and mentally ill. Sneed was on medication to treat manic bipolar episodes, and at the time of his arrest in 1997, he was withdrawing from drugs when he made the coerce claim that Richard Glossip made him kill their boss, Barry Van Treese so Glossip could take the motel into his hands and run the business, with the promise of giving Sneed money. At Glossip’s first trial, his lawyer at the time, Wayne Fornarant was extremely inexperienced and Glossip’s case was his very first homicide case, and death penalty case. Due to his lack of experience, Fornarant delivered an embarrassing job of preparing for the biggest case of his life, one of the many things he failed at doing was he did not call for the police tapes interrogating Justin Sneed and showing he was coerced into pointing the finger directly at Glossip. In Sneed’s first statement to the police, he never mentioned Glossip’s name, and only after the police had Glossip in their view, they gave Sneed the information they wanted him to say right on camera. It has been said by all Glossip activists that if the jury had seen the footage, the outcome would have been in Glossip’s favour.
In exchange for blaming Glossip for “masterminding” the plot, Sneed dodged his own death sentence and instead received a life in prison sentence. Justin Sneed is the only person to ever implicate Glossip in the crime. There was never any witnesses to confirm Sneed’s story. At the time of Justin Sneed’s arrest in 1998, the Oklahoma police detectives in charge of the case were accused of “steering” Sneed toward implicating Glossip. At different times throughout his imprisonment, Sneed has told at least 8 different versions of stories on the events of that night, and some of those stories don’t mention Glossip at all. Police interrogation experts reviewed the Sneed interrogation footage and said it was handled very poorly. The detectives should have let Sneed bring up Glossps name himself if he did at all. By the police bringing Glossip into the interview, experts say Sneed saw a way out and blamed Glossip for his own doing.
Glossip got the short end of the stick in two of his trials. They were both riddled with poor, lazy and unprepared legal representation. The first trial defended by Wayne Fornarant was overturned on appeal due to ineffective assistance of counsel, and he has since been disbarred. His second trial was provided with state-paid attorneys, and they conducted virtually no investigating and did little to none to prepare for their case. Their lack of effort on behalf of Glossip’s freedom and life paved the way for his conviction and a harsh death sentence. At both of these trials, if any of these so-called defence lawyers would have done their jobs, they would have been able to gather some easily found information that Glossip’s pro bono lawyers were able to find. For one, Justin Sneed was a drug addict and had been stealing from the hotel rooms to support his habit for awhile prior to the murder. Second, Justin Sneed was acting alone when he broke into the room (102) occupying his boss Barry Van Treese in hopes of finding money, and his plans changed when the man unexpectedly woke up “forcing” Sneed to rapidly make the decision to kill Van Treese. These events are so important because it suggests that the actual plan between Glossip and Sneed to murder Van Treese didn’t happen,
Glossip’s new lawyers have also discovered there was valuable information in the hands of a witness who was in prison with Justin Sneed, Michael Scott, after the trial of Richard Glossip. Scott came forward and told Glossip’s lawyers that he overheard Sneed “bragging” about successfully setting Richard Glossip up so he himself could escape the death penalty, and even heard him say that Glossip didn’t have anything to do with the murder. Another newly discovered witness, Jon Tapley stated he talked with Sneed about details of the murder, and Sneed “proudly” admitted to committing the crime and not once did he ever mention Glossip played a role at all.
This is a picture of Justin Sneed, and it is beyond me how he can live with himself knowing he not only destroyed an innocent man’s life, but he helped the Oklahoma police who had a hard-on for killing Glossip, ruin the lives of those who love Glossip.
Currently, there is a petition set up by his lawyers asking for to grant a new and FAIR trial. If this blog has had any impact on you, and you feel this man is as innocent as I do, then I strongly encourage you to sign this petition. They need a lot more signatures to get this petition recognized, and like I mentioned, Glossip has beaten the death penalty 3 times already, getting granted “stays” due to the drug used by Oklahoma, causing the death to be slow, inhumane and torturous. It would be easy to overlook this case if Glossip was in fact guilty. But with not ONE shred of evidence pointing him in that direction and all the fuel the prosecution had was the statement made by a drug addict, admitting to the actual murder himself, it’s crazy this has gone on as long as it has. I’ve seen videos of Richard Glossip being interviewed, and the man harbours no hate or outrage for his situation. He is humble and hopeful the justice system will some way correct itself and believes he will NOT die one day at the hands of these angry mobsters. He thinks Justin Sneed is a troubled soul and made the remark “if he had done to someone as Sneed has done to him, he wouldn’t be able to live with himself, let alone sleep at night.” Please, it will take two seconds to sign your name on this petition, and even share it on your facebook page. I don’t have a facebook, so I decided to share this story with my blogging family. And I hope you do the same!
Thank you for reading this, and I truly hope you enjoyed it.
You can find the petition here-
HELP SAVE RICHARD GLOSSIP
PLEASE HELP THIS MAN. THE JUSTICE SYSTEM HAS IT WRONG, AND I THINK THEY ARE TO PROUD TO ADMIT THEY MADE A HUGE MISTAKE! LET OUR VOICES BE HEARD, BECAUSE RICHARD HAS EXHAUSTED ALL HIS RESOURCES TO SAVE HIS OWN LIFE.
I pray for this man, and I hope we as a community can help save his life. I also pray for the troubled soul, Justin Sneed. He will need forgiveness in the afterlife because he is the only man guilty of any wrongdoing in this brutal murder.