How long people stay in Oklahoma county jails on misdemeanor charges varies across the state, newly obtained data shows. In some counties, pretrial release programs allow defendants to get out immediately without having to post bail. In other counties, low-level defendants can remain locked up for days or weeks, creating job or family problems.
The daughter of a state House leader who pushed a bill to protect the right to sentence juveniles to life without parole is a district attorney who seeks such a sentence in a Custer County case. The bill, however, was killed by an appeals court ruling and a requested veto.
Reworked criminal justice reform bills fall short of what a blue-ribbon panel recommended was needed to curb incarceration rates and provide alternatives to prison. But advocates and district attorneys favor the legislation, some of which passed the Senate and some of which passed the House Tuesday.
Stories of being pulled over for no reason are common in minority communities, raising questions about the fairness of allowing law enforcement agencies to investigate racial profiling complaints against their own officers.
If Oklahoma succeeds in using nitrogen gas to execute death-row inmates, it will become the first in the nation to do so. But the plan, called experimental by critics, raises many questions and will almost certainly encounter legal challenges.
Inmates in Oklahoma prisons must have advanced liver disease before becoming eligible for treatment that cures hepatitis C, a potentially deadly and growing disease. Since July 1, only five inmates have been given the drug treatment.