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Oklahoma City– In response to the passage of SQ 776 and failure of SQ 777 and 790, the ACLU of Oklahoma issued the following statements: The following are attributable to Ryan Kiesel, Executive Director: State Question 776: Today, a majority of Oklahoma voters chose to enshrine the Death Penalty in our state Constitution. This decision comes on the heels of our state’s numerous and increasingly brutal failures to apply the death penalty. This State Question is nothing more than an attempt by our government to shirk responsibility for their repeated incompetent attempts to rehabilitate an inherently broken system of state sponsored killings. This loss shouldRead More →

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With the election weeks away, the ACLU of Oklahoma announced today positions on five of the seven state questions set to appear on November’s ballot. We encourage all those who are eligible to make their voices heard in this election. Join the ACLU of Oklahoma and cast your vote for justice on November 8th! NO on SQ 776 SQ 776 needlessly seeks to affirm the State of Oklahoma’s perceived right to execute its citizens. If passed, this measure would add a new section to the Oklahoma State Constitution, purporting to guarantee the right of the government to perform executions, empower the legislature to choose anyRead More →

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OKLAHOMA CITY – In response to reports which indicate Terence Crutcher tested positive for PCP in his system at the time of his unjustified killing at the hands of the Tulsa Police Department, the ACLU of Oklahoma released the following statement: Please attribute to Ryan Kiesel, Executive Director: Initial reports that Terence Crutcher had PCP in his system are completely irrelevant to the question “should Terence Crutcher be alive today?” These findings are the product of weeks long testing and examination by medical professionals. To say that anyone on that scene could have drawn this conclusion or that such a conclusion would justify lethal forceRead More →

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  October 4, 2016 OKLAHOMA CITY – The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma filed a Motion for Summary Judgment today in its challenge to Oklahoma City’s recently enacted anti-panhandling ordinance. The Motion asks a Federal Judge to permanently block enforcement of the ordinance, which makes it a crime for citizens to sit, stand, or stay on most public medians in Oklahoma City; places that traditionally are recognized as public spaces. “This Motion asks the United States District Court to protect the free speech rights of Oklahoma City citizens by striking down the City government’s attempt to criminalize everything from panhandling to political speech andRead More →

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September 30, 2016 OKLAHOMA CITY – At the close of the ten-day protest period on Thursday, there were no challenges seeking to invalidate any signatures collected by Oklahomans for Health in their effort to place Medical Marijuana on a ballot for Oklahoma voters.  In response to the news that the final hurdle for the certification of signatures has been successfully cleared, meaning the question will appear on a ballot in the near future, the ACLU of Oklahoma and Oklahomans for Health released the following statements: Please attribute to Ryan Kiesel, Executive Director, ACLU of Oklahoma: “The more than 67,000 Oklahomans who signed the petition forRead More →

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September 22, 2016   OKLAHOMA CITY – In response to the Tulsa County District Attorney’s announcement of the charge of Manslaughter in the First Degree against Officer Betty Shelby, the ACLU of Oklahoma released the following statements: Please attribute to Ryan Kiesel, Executive Director: “The manslaughter charge against Officer Shelby is welcomed and appropriate. We echo the Tulsa County District Attorney’s firm assertion that Officer Shelby is entitled to due process and presumed innocent until proven guilty. We are also heartened to see that, at least in this instance, law enforcement officers are not being held to a lower standard than the citizens they serve.Read More →

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September 19, 2016 OKLAHOMA CITY – In response to the release of two videos depicting the murder of Terence Crutcher (seen here via The Tulsa World website), an unarmed black Tulsan whose car had broken down, and the launch of DOJ and State investigations, the ACLU of Oklahoma released the following Statements: Please attribute to Ryan Kiesel, ACLU of Oklahoma Executive Director: “A Tulsa Police officer murdered Terence Crutcher in cold blood. Each of the officers present were complicit in the unconscionable, reprehensible, and disgusting killing of this unarmed, defenseless man, by allowing him to bleed to death on the street rather than attempting anyRead More →