ONLINE ONLY: In the Capitol Report segment for April 29, analyst Patrick B. McGuigan praised former Governor Brad Henry and other commissioners who served who prepared the Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Report, released in a state Capitol press conference.
McGuigan, author of several articles on the new report, said it dissects the state’s problems implementing capital punishment. The report documents impediments to justice due to inadequate resources for defense counsel, faulty forensics and juror selection, poor judicial review, insufficient opportunities to challenge convictions, and conviction of the innocent (ten death row inmates have been exonerated in the past 40 years).
In other news, McGuigan applauded Todd Pauley, a member of the state Commission on Childrena nd Youth. Pauley wrote an “op-ed” commentary that appeared in The Oklahoman, in which he called attention to the plight facing the children of those incarcerated. Pauley underscored the devastation wrought by long sentences for non-violent crimes, including the impact on children who have to grow up without their parents.
McGuigan told reporter Alex Cameron that Pauley’s essay made the case for criminal justice reform, along lines reformers across the political spectrum have advocated for decades, replacing punitive long sentences with diversion programs giving a chance to salvage lives and save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.
NOTE: Broadcast of the weekend segment was preempted due to storm coverage, but News9 has posted McGuigan’s Capitol Report exchange with Cameron online.