405-778-4800
Criminal Attorney Oklahoma Defense Lawyer Adam R. Banner OKLAHOMA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY AT LAW
This Attorney is Lead Counsel Rated. Click here for more Information.

Federal Appeals Court Rejects Death Row Appeal

29-Jul-2013

An Oklahoma man sentenced to death row in the murder-for-hire death of his employer had his conviction overturned on appeal following his first conviction, but he was not so fortunate the second time around. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied post-conviction relief to Richard Eugene Glossip, who was convicted in 1998 and again in 2004 of first degree murder in the death of Barry Alan Van Treese. Glossip, who was the manager of an Oklahoma City Best Budget Inn owned by Van Treese, allegedly feared that Van Treese would fire him for letting the motel slip into disrepair. He offered Justin Sneed, a maintenance man he hired to work at the motel, $10,000 to kill Van Treese, and told him the victim would be carrying $36,000 in cash he could steal after killing the man. 

Sneed pleaded guilty to beating Van Treese to death with a baseball bat and testified against Glossip in exchange for a life sentence rather than the death penalty. Glossip was first convicted in 1998, the year following Van Treese's murder. However, he appealed to the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals claiming ineffective assistance of counsel. The state appeals court ruled in his favor, vacating his conviction and death sentence and ordering a new trial. In 2004, Glossip was again convicted and sentenced to death, and he again appealed. This time, Glossip appealed to a federal appeals court.

In his appeal, Glossip listed the following among his grounds for appeal:

  • Issues with voire dire in which he claims the state abused its discretion in removing jurors for cause
  • Insufficient evidence
  • Lack of corroboration of Justin Sneed's testimony
  • The admission of irrelevant and prejudicial evidence
  • The use of posters as demonstrative aids to emphasize state's evidence and witness testimony
  • Prosecutorial misconduct
  • Ineffective assistance of counsel

The appeals court ruled that any errors found in Glossip's trial were harmless trial that did not affect the outcome of the trial. Some grounds for appeal were found not to be errors at all. For example, Glossip argued that personal information about Van Treese's recent family tragedies and an "in-life" photograph used at trial were highly prejudicial and irrelevant to the case; however, because the defense did not object to this evidence at trial, it was not appealable.

A fair trial is a constitutional right, and an appeal of a conviction is critical for anyone whose rights were infringed upon during a criminal trial. Filing an appeal is a highly complex process which must be handled by an experienced and successful appellate lawyer. If you or a loved one has been unjustly convicted of a crime, contact an appeals lawyer as quickly as possible. Call (405) 778-4800 for a free consultation.




All News

More News

Teen Who Urged Boyfriend to Commit Suicide Convicted of Manslaughter
19-Jun-2017

In July 2014, 18-year-old Conrad Roy III attempted to take his own..

Supreme Court to Decide Whether Warrantless Cell Phone Location Search Violates Fourth Amendment
12-Jun-2017

The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that cou..

Man Sentenced to 4 Years in Stabbing Death of Roommate
09-Jun-2017

A 72-year-old man is ordered to spend four years in prison after s..

Trial Delayed for Second Brother in Broken Arrow Quintuple Murder
29-May-2017

Shortly before midnight on July 22, 2015, police in Broken Arrow r..

Criminal Appeals Court Upholds Death Sentence for Triple-Murderer
26-May-2017

For the second time, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has af..

Poorly written bill leaves lawsuit loophole; Governor signs anyway
22-May-2017

When drafting legislation, it is imperative that language is clear..

Not Guilty Verdict in Tulsa Police Shooting; Officer's Job Status under Evaluation
19-May-2017

After nine hours of deliberation, a jury returned a verdict o..

Man Exonerated in Rape Case Awarded Compensation
15-May-2017

An Oklahoma man who was exonerated of rape after spending 13 years..

Trial Begins in Tulsa Police Shooting Case
08-May-2017

Jury selection begins today in the manslaughter case of Tulsa poli..

Oklahoma Death Penalty Remains on Hiatus
05-May-2017

It has been almost exactly three years since the botched execution..

×