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April 25, 2017

Oklahoma commission recommends continued moratorium on executions due to "volume and seriousness of the flaws" in state's capital punishment system

Report-of-the-OK-DP-Review-Commn_April-2015-1As reported in this local article, "two years after the state of Oklahoma last carried out an execution, a commission spearheaded by former Gov. Brad Henry has recommended extending a current moratorium on the death penalty in Oklahoma."  Here is more:

"Due to the volume and seriousness of the flaws in Oklahoma's capital punishment system, Commission members recommend that the moratorium on executions be extended until significant reforms are accomplished," Henry said in a news release.

Executions in Oklahoma have been on hold since Oct. 1, 2015, the day after Richard Glossip received his third stay of execution because the Oklahoma Department of Corrections did not have the right drugs as specified in the DOC’s lethal injection protocol. A multicounty grand jury issued a highly critical report nearly a year ago related to multiple agencies’ handling of Glossip’s case and the January 2015 execution of Charles Warner, and it doesn’t appear as though anyone involved is any closer to being able to resume the use of capital punishment.

The Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission had 10 full-day meetings, held numerous conference calls, commissioned independent studies and conducted interviews with people from all sides of the issue, including with family members of people who were wrongfully convicted. "Many of the findings of the Commission's investigation were disturbing and led members to question whether the death penalty can be administered in a way that ensures no innocent person is put to death," Henry said in the release.

The commission is making 40 recommendations to address systemic problems in forensics, innocence protection, the execution process, and the roles of the prosecution, defense, jury and judiciary, according to the news release.

The full report from the Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission runs nearly 300 pages and is available at this link.  Here is a passages from the report's executive summary:

In light of the extensive information gathered from this year-long, in-depth study, the Commission members unanimously recommend that the current moratorium on the death penalty be extended.

The Commission did not come to this decision lightly. While some Commission members had disagreements with some of the recommendations contained in this report, there was consensus on each of the recommendations.  Due to the volume and seriousness of the flaws in Oklahoma’s capital punishment system, Commission members recommend that the moratorium on executions be extended until significant reforms are accomplished.

Many of the findings of the Commission’s year-long investigation were disturbing and led Commission members to question whether the death penalty can be administered in a way that ensures no innocent person is put to death. Commission members agreed that, at a minimum, those who are sentenced to death should receive this sentence only after a fair and impartial process that ensures they deserve the ultimate penalty of death.  To be sure, the United States Supreme Court has emphasized that the death penalty should be applied only to “the worst of the worst.”  Unfortunately, a review of the evidence demonstrates that the death penalty, even in Oklahoma, has not always been imposed and carried out fairly, consistently, and humanely, as required by the federal and state constitutions.  These shortcomings have severe consequences for the accused and their families, for victims and their families, and for all citizens of Oklahoma.

April 25, 2017 at 03:28 PM | Permalink

Comments

It is striking Glossip is still alive.

SCOTUS decisions repeatedly are not the end of the story.

Posted by: Joe | Apr 25, 2017 3:37:02 PM

i am just a regular citizen that believes richard is innocent. has any one thought of maybe hypnotisiing the guy who did the actual murder to get him to remember correctly-obviously hes lieing!

Posted by: della | Apr 25, 2017 8:26:33 PM

Civilized world is alive and well, and abolitionist.

Posted by: Claudio Giusti | Apr 26, 2017 10:43:10 AM

The report recommends usage of a one drug protocol, which seems to be presently used in eight states [Death Penalty Information Center].

Posted by: Joe | Apr 26, 2017 12:06:28 PM

Claudio. Italy has an active death penalty. On one hand, people go to the Mafia for justice. On the other hand, a lot of prisoners commit suicide. So stop kidding yourself about Italy being abolitionist of the death penalty.

Posted by: David Behar | Apr 26, 2017 4:03:42 PM

No voice for substantive victim right to not be victimized on the Commission. Dismissed.

Posted by: David Behar | Apr 27, 2017 9:11:34 AM

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