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 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 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.
Cameras to enforce Oklahoma compulsory insurance laws headed to Tulsa. The semi-automated system is likely to result in systematic wrongful prosecutions. District Attorneys, who stand to gain $20 million a year for operation of the program, have little incentive to curtail wrongful prosecution or arrest of otherwise insured drivers.
A police officer’s desktop review of images taken by roadside cameras and information stored in state databases is enough to arrest drivers suspected of driving without insurance in Oklahoma. The newly approved system threatens to automate wrongful prosecution by District Attorneys who have a financial incentive to allow systematic mistakes.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court has overturned a sweeping 2017 DUI law for due-process flaws and for violating constitutional single-subject requirements. The entire law was set aside before it even took effect. The decision means ongoing uncertainty for thousands of drivers accused of DUI – and police enforcing DUI laws – with regard to the procedure for contesting drivers license revocations after DUI arrests.