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34 Oklahoma lawmakers call for review of death row case

June 16, 2021 GMT
FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections shows death row inmate Richard Glossip. Glossip was convicted of ordering the beating death of Oklahoma City motel owner Barry Van Treese in 1997 and was sentenced to die. (Oklahoma Department of Corrections via AP, File)
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FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections shows death row inmate Richard Glossip. Glossip was convicted of ordering the beating death of Oklahoma City motel owner Barry Van Treese in 1997 and was sentenced to die. (Oklahoma Department of Corrections via AP, File)
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FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections shows death row inmate Richard Glossip. Glossip was convicted of ordering the beating death of Oklahoma City motel owner Barry Van Treese in 1997 and was sentenced to die. (Oklahoma Department of Corrections via AP, File)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Thirty-four Oklahoma lawmakers, including 28 Republicans, called Wednesday for reopening the investigation that led to the conviction of death row inmate Richard Glossip.

Republican Rep. Kevin McDugle, a death penalty supporter, said new evidence found by Glossip’s attorney, Don Knight, should prompt another investigation into the 1997 beating death of motel owner Barry Van Treese in Oklahoma City in what prosecutors called a murder-for-hire.

Justin Sneed, the man who admitted beating Van Treese to death, was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole in return for his testimony that he killed Van Treese after Glossip promised to pay him $10,000.

In a letter to Gov. Kevin Stitt and the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board, the lawmakers said new evidence that Sneed framed Glossip to avoid a death penalty could show Glossip is innocent.

A spokesperson for Stitt said the letter has not been received.

Oklahoma has executed no one since 2015 when three consecutive executions were flawed. Glossip was hours away from execution that year when prison officials realized they received the wrong lethal drug.

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Separately, lawyers for Glossip and several other death row inmates are challenging the state’s lethal injection protocols in a case in federal court in Oklahoma City.