“We are grateful to Attorney General Drummond for his commitment to ensure that justice is done and to do everything in his power to see that the State of Oklahoma does not execute Richard Glossip,” said David Weiss, one of the Reed Smith partners co-leading the independent investigation into Glossip’s case.
On May 1, the state, through its Office of the Attorney General, joined with Glossip’s defense team in requesting a stay of execution from the nation’s highest court. This comes after Oklahoma’s highest criminal court denied the attorney general’s request to have Glossip’s conviction overturned, despite Drummond arguing that Glossip did not have a fair trial in accordance with the U.S. Constitution.
“Absent this Court’s intervention, an execution will move forward under circumstances where the Attorney General has already confessed error—a result that would be unthinkable,” Drummond wrote in his May 1 filing to the Supreme Court. The Oklahoma attorney general has tapped Paul Clement, the U.S. solicitor general for former President George W. Bush, to represent the State of Oklahoma in proceedings before the Supreme Court with respect to Glossip’s case, including the request for a stay, further demonstrating the seriousness of this matter.
Drummond’s petition comes after the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals (OCCA) denied his request to vacate Glossip's conviction, and after the Oklahoma Pardon & Parole Board denied clemency for Glossip in a 2-2 vote. As a result of one board member recusing himself, the vote fell one vote short of the majority required under the Oklahoma State Constitution to recommend clemency to the governor. Glossip’s defense team is now challenging the board’s decision in a separate lawsuit in Oklahoma due to the failure to have a replacement board member appointed.
Glossip’s defense team also has indicated that it will file a new cert petition with the Supreme Court challenging the recent decision of the OCCA.
In February 2022, a group of Oklahoma legislators commissioned an independent, third-party investigation into Glossip’s case, which was led by Reed Smith, along with the law firms of Jackson Walker and Crowe & Dunlevy, working on a pro bono basis. Four months later, the team announced its initial findings in a 343-page report, concluding that “no reasonable juror hearing the complete record would have convicted Glossip.” Reed Smith has since released five addendums to its initial report detailing additional findings in the ongoing investigation, including evidence withheld by state prosecutors for 25 years and only released after Drummond took office.
“It would be unprecedented for an execution to go forward where the chief law enforcement officer of a state agrees that the defendant did not receive a fair trial that conformed to the requirements of the United States Constitution,” said Christina Vitale, a partner with Jackson Walker, the other co-lead on the investigation.
Oklahoma Gov. J. Kevin Stitt has the power to issue temporary 60-day reprieves to inmates facing execution. Concerns related to Glossip’s case, and support for a 60-day reprieve to allow for the appeals process to proceed, can be directed to Stitt’s office by calling 405-521-2342, contacting him online or by writing to him at:
Office of Gov. J. Kevin Stitt
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd., Suite 212
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Read the filing (pdf May 1, 2023) in the United States Supreme Court.
Read the filing (pdf May 3, 2023) in the Oklahoma County District Court.
The Reed Smith investigative team’s full report (pdf, June 16, 2022), executive summary (pdf, July 21, 2022), first supplemental report (pdf, Aug. 9, 2022), second supplemental report (pdf, Aug. 23, 2022), third supplemental report (pdf, Sept. 20, 2022), fourth supplemental report (pdf, Oct. 18, 2022), and fifth supplemental report (pdf, March 27, 2023) are available to the public.