On the day Don Knight was supposed to witness his client’s execution at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, he instead stood in the press room at the state Capitol in Oklahoma City. “Today is the day that Richard Glossip was set to be killed by the state of Oklahoma,” he reminded reporters on Thursday afternoon. “An innocent man was set to be killed for the fourth time.”
Glossip’s life had been spared by Gov. Kevin Stitt, who paused the September 22 execution date amid explosive new evidence in the case. The stay of execution followed a petition filed by Knight to the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, asking for a hearing to consider new evidence that cast further doubt on Glossip’s guilt. With a new execution date set for December 8, even more disturbing revelations had come to light: including evidence of prosecutorial misconduct so alarming that state Rep. Justin Humphrey called for an investigation into the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office.
“I was very reluctant, as a law enforcement officer, to look at this case,” Humphrey said at the press conference. But the investigative failures in Glossip’s case shook him to the core. Today Humphrey is convinced that not only should Glossip never have been sentenced to die, he also never should have been sent to prison. “Now I’m at the point we’re investigating the wrong people,” he said, calling the government’s conduct in Glossip’s case “extremely unethical.”
Humphrey is one of more than 60 state lawmakers who have raised alarm over Glossip’s case. The press conference came on the heels of a third report in as many months by the law firm Reed Smith LLP, which is conducting an independent investigation into the case at the lawmakers’ behest. Like the previous reports, the newest revelations expose how Oklahoma City prosecutors twice convicted Glossip despite clear indications that he was an innocent man.