The United States Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal from a former Oklahoma City police officer convicted of sex crimes.
Daniel Holtzclaw and his attorney filed a 29-page petition on Jan. 6 to seek review of the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals' judgment against him.
The petition said the case warrants the Supreme Court justices' attention for three main reasons:
The U.S. Supreme Court denied the petition Monday.
“Justice was not served in this case,” Holzclaw’s sister, Jennifer said on Monday after the SCOTUS ruling.
Holtzclaw was arrested in 2014 after a woman came forward to the police and said he sexually assaulted her during a traffic stop in northeast Oklahoma City.
During the course of the Oklahoma City Police Department's investigation, 13 women accused Holtzclaw of sexual misconduct.
He was found guilty on 18 of the 36 charges by an Oklahoma County jury. He was sentenced to 263 years in prison in January 2016.
Jennifer Holtzclaw said on Monday they aren’t surprised the Supreme Court denied the petition.
“We were prepared for it,” she said. “I can tell I’m a little emotional about it right now. I know that we aren’t giving up.”
Holtzclaw's legal team can still file for post-conviction relief.
In addition, his supporters said they will continue to try and bring attention to the case in the court of public opinion.
“Daniel wants everyone to know that he is innocent, and he will continue to fight, and he just wants everyone to have an open mind and learn more about his case.”
Holtzclaw's sister Jenny Holtzclaw released the following statement after the court denied the petition:
"While we are disappointed, it is important to note that the high court’s denial of Daniel’s cert petition does not necessarily mean that the panel agrees with the OCCA’s outrageously flawed and scientifically-illiterate decision. According to the Court’s rules, at least four justices must agree that the lower court’s ruling warrants review.
“The post-conviction process is a marathon, not a sprint. The average time it takes to exonerate an innocent person like Daniel is upwards of 14 years. As the University of Michigan reported last year, there were 151 exonerations in 2018, representing a ‘total number of years lost to exonerees of more than 21,000 years.’ This is devastating and Daniel lives through it every day, but he remains strong in his faith and spirit."
Holtzclaw's sister also released a statement on his behalf:
“I urge Americans everywhere who are concerned about our criminal injustice system to learn more about the true facts of the bias-driven investigation--and especially about the brazenly illegal secret hearings, the cover-up of the police department crime lab’s systemic failures, false testimony, prosecutorial misconduct, and suppression of vital e-mails in my case.
“This case is not just about me, but about unknown other wrongfully accused and convicted Oklahomans whose cases OCPD forensic analyst Elaine Taylor and Det. Kim Davis – who came out of retirement and is now shockingly back working for the department – collaborated on together. I urge Gov. Stitt to ask what the crime lab and police brass are hiding and why.
“I am grateful that my legal team and supporters are pursuing all post-conviction avenues to prove my complete and total innocence. We will fight on and never, ever give up the pursuit of truth, justice, and freedom. The very integrity of Oklahoma’s criminal justice system is on trial.”