Clemency Support Letter for Richard Glossip to OK Board of Pardons
November 1, 2022
Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board
2915 N. Classen #405, Oklahoma City, OK 73106
Dear Pardon and Parole Board members,
On behalf of the members of Witness to Innocence, men and women who were exonerated after a wrongful capital conviction, I am writing to urge you to grant clemency to Richard Glossip. We are deeply concerned that the elements that led to Mr. Glossip’s conviction are the same elements that lead to the vast majority of wrongful capitol convictions.
Police and prosecutorial misconduct and knowingly false testimony are the leading causes of wrongful capital convictions. According to research published in February 2021 by the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC), 69.2 percent of exonerations from capital convictions since 1973 included official misconduct by police, prosecutors, or other government officials and 67.6% included perjury or false accusation. A review of death row exonerations between April 2007 and 2017, showed that EVERY case involved some combination of official misconduct, perjury or false accusation, or false forensic evidence.
An independent investigation of Mr. Glossip’s case asserts that the only evidence presented at trial against Mr. Glossip is mired by these two factors so often seen in wrongful capital conviction cases. The report states that police coerced the primary suspect to make a false accusation against Mr. Glossip. Police did not look for any witnesses to this crime, chose not to interview witnesses who were otherwise a part of the investigation, ignored witnesses who did come forward, made no attempt to gather evidence at the scene, and disposed of or lost what evidence was collected. When some evidence was hand delivered to the parties in court, the district attorney refused to take possession of it, and it was lost thereafter. The DA’s office ordered a box of evidence be destroyed, without following any normal process for doing so and without a full inventory to determine what value it might have had to the case.
We at Witness to Innocence are living proof that innocent people are convicted and sentenced to death. The research shows that official misconduct and false accusation are the leading causes of this fatal error of justice. Knowing that these things do happen, there is a burden to ensure that no innocent person is executed in Oklahoma and every effort must be put forth to determine the integrity of the original conviction. In Richard Glossip’s case, with the only evidence presented in his trial being an accusation with all the hallmarks of a coerced, false accusation, and with potentially exonerating evidence having been disregarded, lost, or destroyed by police and prosecutors, the integrity of the original conviction is absolutely in question.
Please do not risk executing an innocent human being. Please grant clemency to Richard Glossip.