State of Oklahoma Archives: on Crime

Mike Workman: Supports the death penalty, but only for horrific crimes

Q: Do you support the death penalty?

Mike Workman: Yes, but only for horrific crimes with undeniable evidence

Source: voter guide on 2016 Oklahoma Senate race Aug 31, 2016

Neil Gorsuch: Jurors have ability to impartially apply death penalty

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals split 2-1 to uphold the Oklahoma death sentence of Scott Eizember, who went on a deadly crime spree in 2003.

Eizember was sentenced to be executed for the bludgeoning death of A.J. Cantrell, 76, and to 150 years in prison in the shotgun slaying of Patsy Cantrell, 70, at their Depew home. "Scott Eizember left a Tulsa jail intent on settling a score," Judge Neil Gorsuch of the Denver-based appeals court wrote in a 34-page decision. "He was upset with his ex-girlfriend, Kathy Biggs, because she had tipped off authorities about his violation of a protective order." Eizember had broken into the Cantrells' home to watch and wait for his ex-girlfriend to return to her mother's house across the street.

One judge on a three-judge panel said the death sentence should be overturned. In a 30-page dissenting opinion, the Chief Judge wrote that one juror's views in favor of the death penalty raise doubts about her ability to be fair and impartial.

Source: The Oklahoman on death penalty appeal Sep 15, 2015

Connie Johnson: Aggressive sentencing reform, and abolish death penalty

The Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty has announced the election of its new Board Chair, former Oklahoma State Senator and candidate Constance Johnson.

Johnson recently retired after 33-years in the State Senate, representing Oklahoma City's predominantly African American "Eastside," where she pursued a game-changing focus on health/mental health/human services issues that disproportionately affect the economic and social well-being of the poor, minorities, women, children, and people with disabilities. Johnson contends her aggressive proposals on sentencing reform and abolishing the death penalty are beginning to gain traction in Oklahoma's conservative climate.

Johnson's advocacy grew out of her Master's Thesis on Women and Incarceration in Oklahoma, which is reflective of the high cost and impact on the state's budget.

Source: City Sentinel coverage of 2016 Oklahoma Senate race May 21, 2015

Mary Fallin: Supports death penalty even after botched lethal injection

She also has given strong support to the death penalty, even in the wake of the April 29 botched lethal injection of death row inmate Clayton Lockett. Fallin ordered her secretary of safety and security to conduct an independent investigation into the execution, but has said Lockett's death sentence was lawfully carried out and that "justice was served."
Source: Greenfield Reporter on 2014 Oklahoma gubernatorial race Jun 18, 2014

Mary Fallin: 2011: OK to experiment with drugs used in lethal injection

According to the Death Penalty Information Center, Oklahoma has the highest number of executions per capita in the country. Fallin laid the groundwork for this week's debacle [of a botched execution] in 2011 by signing into legislation that enabled Oklahoma to experiment with the drugs used in lethal injection and to keep the details secret.

In April, when the State Supreme Court issued a temporary stay on the execution of Clayton Lockett, citing concerns about the constitutionality of that law, Fallin decided to ignore it. The Supreme Court's "attempted stay of execution is outside the constitutional authority of that body," she declared. "I cannot give effect to the order by that honorable court." (The Court eventually reached a different conclusion on its own, it said.)

"You have a political figure who unnecessarily rushed forward an execution, under the veil of secrecy, that led to the torture of an individual at the hands of the state of Oklahoma," [one opponent said].

Source: MSNBC coverage of 2014 Oklahoma gubernatorial race May 1, 2014

Mary Fallin: Be as "smart on crime" as we are "tough on crime"

For non-violent offenders in our prison population, we are working hard to offer treatment and rehabilitation--to be as "smart on crime" as we are "tough on crime." I'm looking forward to a renewed partnership between the Department of Corrections, the Legislature and my office, as we work with the agency and its new director to evaluate and improve our smart on crime initiatives, including the Justice Reinvestment Initiative.
Source: 2014 State of the State address to Oklahoma legislature Feb 3, 2014

Mary Fallin: Murder is about video games & broken families, not guns

Q: In the wake of the random shooting of an Australian tourist, the former deputy prime minister of Australia has advised tourists that they should boycott the US to make a statement about gun control.

FALLIN: I don't think this issue is about gun control. It's an issue about murder. Q: What on earth do you think would lead three teenagers to gun down a complete stranger, because they say they were bored and had nothing to do?

FALLIN: It's just unfathomable that they would even have a thought in their mind to gun down somebody who is so innocent, just taking a jog through the community. But, you know, in America, we do have different families that are broken, we do have poverty rates, we have those that are uneducated, we have substance abuse issues, we certainly have a lot of video games, a lot of movies that depict violence in our society, and that is something we as parents, certainly, as community people should take at heart, to always try to make things better in our communities.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2013, on 2014 Oklahoma gubernatorial race Aug 25, 2013

Matt Silverstein: Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act

Silverstein noted his support of women's issues, an issue where Inhofe falls short. "He was one of only five senators who opposed reauthorizing the Violence Against Women's Act," he said, adding that equality for women in the military is also not high on Inhofe's list.
Source: coverage of 2014 Oklahoma Senate race Aug 13, 2013

Jim Bridenstine: Swift capital punishment saves lives

Q: Do you support capital punishment for certain crimes?

A: Yes. When used appropriately, swift capital punishment deters violent crimes and saves lives. Capital punishment for certain heinous crimes is consistent with the high intrinsic value of human life.

Source: Oklahoma Congressional 2012 Political Courage Test Oct 30, 2012

Joe Dorman: Death penalty for repeat sex offenders, but not if retarded

Dorman voted YEA on SB 1800, Death Penalty for Second Offender Sex Offenders, Conference Report Adopted (88-8): Dorman voted YEA on SB 1807, Prohibiting Death Sentence For Mentally Retarded Defendant, Conference Report Adopted (91-5):