Wirth Law Office - Tulsa Tulsa Attorney Blog
Changes in Okalahoma sentencing laws for drug crimes and non-violent property crimes have created a favorable environment for those who submit an application to commute sentence to the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board. While far more commutations in Oklahoma are denied than are passed, recently reduced penalties that make prior penalties seem excessive are among the reasons board members have approved a growing number of applications to commute sentences in recent years.
Oklahoma ranks seventh in the nation for wrongful convictions since 1993. A commentator alludes to Wild West justice where attitudes toward life and liberty reflect a lackadaisical mindset. But why did a nationally recognized political commentator decide to spotlight the 7th ranked state for wrongful convictions now?
Oklahoma Supreme Court Alleges “Oppression in Office” Whispered complaints about a Washington County judge’s misconduct toward defendants and attorneys appearing in his court have swirled for months. Now, things are spilling into the light. Washington County District Judge Curtis DeLapp has been notified of a proposed temporary suspension by the Oklahoma Court on the Judiciary’s […]
Federal law prohibits opening mail without the recipients permission, but law enforcement agencies use a variety of methods to find out what goes through the mail. Sometimes, police seek a warrant but they can ask the post office to record all letters sent to an address with no warrant. On at least one occassion, investigators illegally opened packages to find out if there was anything inside work seeking a warrant about.
Faced with budget shorfalls and growing prison populations, Oklahoma lawmakers in 2018 reduce sentences for non-violent property crimes, extended opportunies for parole, made probation slightly easier to complete and allowed some lifers to plea for sentence modifications.
An Oklahoma expungement reform that takes effect Nov. 1, 2018 reduces waiting periods and eliminates pardon requirements before individuals may seek expungement of criminal records. The reform affects those previously convicted of no more than one non-violent felony offense.
The Oklahoma Criminal Defense Lawyers Association has released a scorching rebuke of a bill that would let judges sentence juveniles to life in prison without a chance for parole. Oklahoma law otherwise allows juries to determine sentences within limits set by law. Different sentencing procedures would deny those juveniles equal protection of the law as […]
For nearly 50 years, the Dept. of Public Safety has seized and revoked drivers licenses of motorists arrested for DUI in Oklahoma. Oklahoma law required licenses to be revoked as a matter of civil law, long before a driver was afforded due process of law in a criminal court. Mandatory drivers license revocations on arrest […]
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner’s reform-minded approach to criminal prosecution has prosecutors nationwide on notice that the nation might be ready for a new direction in to criminal justice.
The City of Tulsa ended a funding dispute with the county sherrif by opening a city jail. When the city jail exceeds capacity. the city now sends excess inmates 40 miles away, to a frequently overcrowded jail in Okmulgee County.
A new Oklahoma law that allows cameras to be used in ticketing motorists suspected of driving without insurance could result in arrest of innocent drivers. Tulsa traffic ticket attorney James Wirth told Fox 23 the semi-automated, camera-driven system could issue as many as 20,000 uninsured driving tickets a month.
A bill in the 2018 Oklahoma legislature would let voters decide whether the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals should be abolished. Among 50 states, only Oklahoma and Texas have separate appeals courts for criminal and civil matters. Defense attorneys say the split has resulted in a prosecution friendly appeals court that is sometimes blithe indifference to its own precedents.
A proposal to let voters decide the future of the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals might face an uphill battle in the legislature. Oklahoma lawmakers have had a chilly relationship with the Oklahoma’s other appeals court, which could take on the work of the criminal appeals court if voters approved the measure.
Until recently, nearly every police agency in the nation relied on an interrogation practice called the “Reid Method.” This harsh method aims to squeeze confessions from suspects through stress, fatigue, intimidation and sympathy. A recent research paper by a University of Virginia Law student suggests the Reid Method is highly likely to elicit false confessions. […]
Recent research that reviewed thousands of child abuse cases where shaken baby syndrome was alleged revealed there is virtually no reason to presume abusive head trauma was to blame when no evidence beyond an infant’s symptoms or brain injuries were present.