Fern L. Smith
Date of Offense
October 28, 1999

Attorney Misconduct

This complaint has been forwarded to the Oklahoma Bar Association

414 West Main Street
Tishomingo, OK 73460
United States


Statement

On June 7, 2022 - Reed Smith LLP, issued a final report from their Conviction Integrity Investigation into the case of Oklahoma v. Glossip, Richard E. "October 1999: Destruction of Evidence by the State While Glossip’s Case is Pending Despite Glossip’s pending appeals, in October 1999, the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office requested the Oklahoma City Police Department to destroy a box containing several pieces of evidence collected in the Glossip case.196 The reason given for the destruction was 'Appeals Exhausted'." (see pg 41-42). "Defense counsel was not notified by the prosecution of this destruction of evidence until a pre‐trial hearing in January 2003. No subsequent legal action was taken by defense counsel or the Court on this issue." - (see pg 43). "According to Former District Attorney Gary Ackley, the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office had a long‐standing agreement with the Oklahoma City Police Department since the 1990s to never destroy evidence in a capital murder case. In light of this longstanding agreement, it is even more concerning that multiple prosecutors from the District Attorney’s Office, including Fern Smith and Connie Smothermon were aware of this destruction of evidence and neither appear to have investigated or determined how this destruction happened." (see pg 45). "Based on this and other information obtained through this investigation, the State’s destruction was not merely an accident (e.g., a case of grabbing the wrong box). The State, as memorialized by multiple documents from both the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office and the Oklahoma County Police Department, expressly intended to destroy this evidence." (see pg 45) see footnote 208 - "See, e.g., January 16, 2003 Motions Hearing at pp. 23‐26 (Fern Smith informing the Court and defense counsel of the destruction of the evidence); see also October 29, 2003 email from Assistant District Attorney Connie Smothermon to then‐defense counsel for Glossip (Smothermon states “I am not aware of any policy authorizing the destruction of evidence from our office.”) We have not seen any evidence to suggest that Ackley was aware of the destruction of evidence before Glossip’s retrial. As he indicated, he came on to assist Connie Smothermon shortly before the trial was set to begin. June 2022 Reed Smith Interview of G. Ackley." The State’s destruction of evidence is inexcusable in a capital murder case.