antideath

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 →

ryanbrady

OKLAHOMA CITY – Officials with the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma filed a lawsuit against Governor Mary Fallin’s office Monday, seeking documents about how Fallin and her staff have handled the execution of two condemned inmates and how the governor addressed the state inspection of long-term care facilities. The lawsuit, filed in Oklahoma County District Court, comes just weeks after Fallin’s office released more than 40,000 pages of documents, most of which were copies of emailed newsletters or were heavily redacted. “Apparently, it takes a court action to get correct records from the governor’s office,” Brady Henderson, ACLU Oklahoma Legal Director, said. “So we’re going backRead More →

curbside salesman

OKLAHOMA CITY – James Hassan was selling the Curbside Chronicle. Then he went to jail. On August 10, Hassan – who was homeless – was caught panhandling by the Oklahoma City police and given a ticket. After that, Hassan stopped panhandling and began selling The Curbside Chronicle, a magazine sponsored by the Homeless Alliance. A project of the alliance, The Curbside Chronicle allows homeless and at-risk residents to work as vendors for the publication. The job offers a way for many to earn income, transition back into housing and develop time, money-management and social skills necessary to transition into more traditional employment. Homeless Alliance officialsRead More →

Execution-Table

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma’s move to stay all executions until the spring of 2016 drew praise from the executive director the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma Friday. The comment came after The Frontier, an on-line new site based in Tulsa, published a story Friday that stated Oklahoma wouldn’t be conducting any executions until 2016. The story, citing federal court records, said  “a court filing in the Western District of Oklahoma Federal Court states that in the interests of ‘judicial economy and comity,’ the attorney general will not seek an execution date for any of the condemned prisoners until their attorneys are provided with the results of an ongoing stateRead More →

capbw

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals reversed the unconstitutional conviction of activist and Sooner Tea Party head Al Gerhart, of Oklahoma City, in an opinion released today. Gerhart was convicted of two felony offenses for sending strongly worded emails to a state senator during the 2013 legislative session. American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma Legal Director Brady Henderson represented Gerhart during district court hearings in the case, arguing that Gerhart’s speech was protected by the First Amendment. Today the Court of Criminal Appeals agreed, reversing Gerhart’s conviction and ordering charges to be dismissed. The following is attributable to Brady Henderson, Legal Director, ACLURead More →

student-desks-in-classroom

TAHLEQUAH — The Woodall School District in Tahlequah has rescinded a decision to place boys and girls in separate classrooms for all academic subjects, after being warned by the ACLU that the sex segregated classes violated both state and federal law. Woodall put the single-sex class schedule in place at the beginning of the current school year. The school claimed the system was designed for scheduling convenience, and as a cost savings measure–justifications that are not allowed by law–but the district was able to revert to a coeducational schedule without incurring any additional costs. The following is attributable to Galen Sherwin, Senior Staff Attorney atRead More →

OSP-website

OKLAHOMA CITY — Late Thursday afternoon, Gov. Mary Fallin’s office released a list of questions and answers regarding the stay of execution she issued for Richard Glossip. Gossip was set to be executed at 3 p.m. Sept. 30. However, problems with the drugs obtained by the Department of Corrections caused the governor’s office to stay the execution until November 6. Fallin’s office said she ordered the 37-day stay because the DOC received potassium acetate instead of the court-approved potassium chloride. Since then, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has asked the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to put all future executions on hold. Pruitt also issued a media statement on Thursday.  PruittRead More →