OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Legislature should move quickly to expand Medicaid, using the extra funds for health care coverage and to address criminal justice issues, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma said Monday. By expanding Medicaid coverage ACLU Oklahoma leader Ryan Kiesel said the state would receive millions in much-needed cash which could be used to increase mental health coverage, a key component in modernizing Oklahoma’s criminal justice system. In December, Oklahoma Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger said state revenue for remainder of FY 2016 was expected to be about $157 million short. That action required the state to cutRead More →

Rebekkah and Casey Newland

OKLAHOMA CITY — Rebekkah Newland and Jennifer Fleming continue to wait. Halloween is over. Thanksgiving is past. And, with just 8 days until Christmas, both women are being forced to continue a yearlong custody fight to see their children. Part of a trio of non-biological mothers in same-sex relationships who are waging a court battle to see their children, Newland and Fleming thought a unanimous ruling handed down in November by the Oklahoma Supreme Court would buttress their efforts. That ruling, on behalf of Charlene Ramey, helped pave the way for Ramey to see her son. Ramey was the non-biological mother of a child in a same-sex relationship.Read More →


Deep in the bowels of the Oklahoma State Penitentiary, the execution chamber is a stark and sterile place. The area is small. One room is curtained off for media and other witnesses; another for prison staff and the executioner, and the third room, complete with a hospital bed, is where the condemned go to die. Right now, the chamber is empty. It hasn’t been used much, since the state tried unsuccessfully to execute Richard Glossip, earlier this year. But for years, the chamber was busy. Since 1915, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections has killed a total of 191 men and three women. Most of thoseRead More →

23rd Street Median

OKLAHOMA CITY – The executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma said Tuesday he was disappointed that the Oklahoma City Council had adopted a controversial anti-panhandling ordinance. The proposal passed on a 7-2 vote Tuesday morning. Under the ordinance, panhandling and other activities, such as the sale of The Curbside Chronicle, would be prevented on medians less than 30 feet wide. The ordinance would exempt individuals who occupied medians that had been improved for public use, or if the individual was 200 feet or more away from an intersection. ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel said his organization would continue to opposeRead More →


OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma City’s new anti-panhandling ordinance is still an attack on the poor and impoverished, and continues to raise serious First Amendment concerns, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union said Friday. ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel said the latest version of the city’s anti-panhandling ordinance was an improvement over an earlier proposal, but Kiesel added he had ‘serious concerns’ about how the ordinance would be enforced. “They’ve bought themselves an enforcement nightmare,” Kiesel said. “And the city still hasn’t addressed the First Amendment concerns with The Curbside Chronicle.” Last Friday, the City of Oklahoma City released a revised version ofRead More →


The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma stands with our brothers and sisters at Planned Parenthood in the wake of last weekend’s act of domestic terrorism in Colorado. We also join them in expressing our sincerest condolences and thoughts to the innocent victims and their families. We will continue to work with Planned Parenthood to ensure that women continue to have access to safe and legally protected health care, including the right to have an abortion. The ACLU of Oklahoma will never stand idly by while the fundamental rights of women are threatened, regardless of where that threat comes from.Read More →

new flag

McLOUD – About ten years ago, Tondalo Hall was sent to prison. Hall, who was 20 at the time, received a 30-year sentence for failing to protect her children from child abuse. Her boyfriend, Robert Braxton, was charged with four counts of child abuse. Law enforcement officials said Braxton broke the ribs and femur of the couple’s three-month-old daughter. Braxton was violent to both Hall and her children. Hall testified that Braxton choked her, punched her and grabbed her around the neck on several occasions. And though enforcement officials agreed Hall didn’t abuse her children, they said Hall had failed to protect the children becauseRead More →