By Alex Aghishian, student volunteer for the Denver Innocence Project
On May 21, 2017, student volunteers with the Denver Innocence Project were able to hear first hand about the wrongful conviction case of Richard Glossip from the point of view of his defense attorney, Don Knight. Mr. Knight, who is based out of Littleton, Colorado, first heard about the Glossip case from Sister Helen Prejean (author of Dead Man Walking) in the spring of 2015, and has since put in over 4,000 pro bono hours.
Richard Glossip is a man wrongfully convicted and imprisoned on death row in the state of Oklahoma for a crime he did not commit. An employee of the motel Glossip managed, named Justin Sneed, murdered the owner of the motel. Police offered Sneed a deal: if he implicated Glossip as being the main mastermind behind the murder, the State would spare Sneed of the death penalty and instead give him life without the possibility of parole. Even though Glossip had an alibi and no physical evidence against him was produced, Sneed's testimony, along with police and prosecutorial misconduct led to his wrongful imprisonment and death penalty sentence. Glossip has been nearly put to death by lethal injection three times, but is still awaiting a new execution date.
The Glossip case is currently featured in Killing Richard Glossip, a four part docu-series on the Investigation Discovery Channel, made by Joe Berlinger, one of the documentary film-makers behind HBO's "Paradise Lost" trilogy documentaries concerning the West Memphis Three.
Knight told students that he took on Glossip’s case pro bono and noted the three reasons as to why he agreed to be a part of the documentary Killing Richard Glossip. The first is that he hoped for new witnesses to come forward after seeing the film; second, was that he hoped the film would put pressure on local authorities to recognize Glossip's innocence; and the main reason was that Glossip himself wanted the film to be made so the world would see his innocence. Knight also talked about recently discovered new evidence proving Glossip’s innocence and is hopeful that such evidence will be introduced to the courts sometime near the summer of 2017.
You can watch Killing Richard Glossip online at: