On April 6, 2023, Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond asked the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to vacate Richard Glossip’s conviction and death sentence and to remand the case to the District Court for further proceedings. He cited the U.S. Supreme Court’s admonition that the prosecutor’s interest is “not that it shall win a case, but that justice shall be done.”

Regarding his motion to the court, Drummond said: “After thorough and serious deliberation, I have concluded that I cannot stand behind the murder conviction and death sentence of Richard Glossip. This is not to say I believe he is innocent. However, it is critical that Oklahomans have absolute faith that the death penalty is administered fairly and with certainty. Considering everything I know about this case, I do not believe that justice is served by executing a man based on the testimony of a compromised witness.”

The state’s action follows the release of the results of an investigation into Glossip’s case by independent counsel Rex Duncan, who was appointed by Drummond in January. “The state’s murder case against Glossip was not particularly strong and would have been, in my view, weaker if full discovery had been provided,” concluded Duncan. “Given the passage of 26 years, death of witnesses, destruction and loss of evidence, and 2023 evidentiary disclosures, it is, in my view, less tenable today.”

On death-row for 25 years, Glossip has long maintained his innocence. He has received three reprieves from Governor Kevin Stitt, the latest in November 2022, and was the subject of another independent investigationconducted by the law firm of Reed Smith, commissioned by a bipartisan group of 35 state legislators. Glossip’s execution date was most recently postponed from February 16 to May 18, marking his ninth execution date. Drummond is asking that the latest execution date be postponed.

Don Knight, attorney for Glossip, told The Intercept that his client was “ecstatic” when hearing the news. “It was like this moment washed over his face where he recognized that after all these years and after everything he’s been through, he was finally getting someone to listen to him,” Knight explained.

If the appellate court reverses Glossip’s conviction, he could be subject to a re-trial, which would be his third in this case. Glossip was also part of a challenge brought to the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the drugs used in Oklahoma’s lethal injection process. The Court denied this challenge in a 5-4 opinion in 2015.