Oklahoma voters will get the opportunity to add victims’ rights to the state Constitution under a proposal called Marsy’s Law. But giving victims the same rights as those accused of crimes may have unintended negative consequences for law enforcement and prosecutors.
For more than three years, Tulsa residents and businesses have been paying fees to a voluntary city program to ensure police will be the first to respond to an intruder alarm on their property. But because of a technical issue with the 911 system, those who paid the fee have received the same level of service as those who didn’t pay.
Research shows that older prisoners are less likely to commit new crimes after they’re released. A new proposal would allow the state Pardon and Parole Board to give early release to nonviolent offenders who are age 50 or over and have serious health issues.
Oklahoma’s largest private-prison company is proposing to acquire the state’s second largest provider of halfway houses, which would give the company a dominant footprint in private incarceration in the state.
David Hammock was one of nine men who took their own lives in the Oklahoma State Penitentiary between 2012 and 2015. Convicted of arson at age 18 for burning down the old Sallisaw High School, he failed at chances to gain early release, and then, in the end, lost hope.
Between 2012 and 2015, nine inmates in the Oklahoma State Penitentiary took their own lives, giving Oklahoma’s only state-owned maximum security prison the highest suicide rate among corrections facilities. Is solitary confinement to blame?