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State News

March 13, 2014

Around the State

Oklahoma City — Anti-death penalty group hosts annual fundraiser

EDMOND (AP) — The co-founder and executive director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago will deliver the keynote speech for the Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty’s annual fundraiser.

Rob Warden will speak at the group’s 23rd annual membership meeting and awards dinner on Saturday, April 12, at the University of Central Oklahoma campus in Edmond. 

The UCO debate team will also have a debate on the death penalty.

Warden is an award-winning writer and investigative reporter who helped establish the center in 1999. 

It has been instrumental in more than 30 exonerations and helped lead an effort that culminated in former Illinois Gov. George Ryan’s decision to grant clemency to all of that state’s death row prisoners in 2003.

 

2-year-old boy dies in Broken Arrow shooting

BROKEN ARROW, (AP) — Police in Broken Arrow say a 2-year-old boy has died in an accidental shooting.

Broken Arrow Police Cpl. Leon Calhoun says the shooting occurred Tuesday night at a home on East Aurora Street. Calhoun says the boy apparently shot himself in the upper torso.

Calhoun says the child later died at a hospital. Police say the shooting appears to be “a tragic accident.”

Investigators have not yet identified the boy or said how the child was able to access the weapon.

 

Okla.’s high female lockup rate targeted in bill

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A plan to target Oklahoma’s highest-in-the-nation female incarceration rate with a prison diversion pilot program in Tulsa has unanimously passed the Oklahoma Senate.

The Senate voted Wednesday for the bill by Republican Sen. Kim David of Porter that targets women convicted of drug or other nonviolent crimes. 

David says female offenders first must enter a plea of guilty, which a judge can withhold and waive if the woman completes the 12-to-18-month program.

David says the participants must stay sober and keep a job to remain in the program, which also reunites the women with their children.

David says she was particularly touched by the testimony that some of the women in the program delivered during a Senate committee hearing.

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