criminal justice

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a case about Native American territory and a 1999 murder that could broadly affect tribal sovereignty and state legal authority.

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Baby Roman is just waking up from his afternoon nap and now he’s looking for a toy. His grandfather, Frank McCarrell, is trying to distract him from the house’s décor with a bottle of milk.

“He don’t usually be asleep this time,” said McCarrell, who just finished his workday to babysit for his daughter. “When I come home … usually he’s up and raring to go. Huh? You be running Papa around?

ROD WADDINGTON / FLICKR/CC BY-SA 2.0

A bill that would allow Oklahomans to carry handguns in public without getting permission from the state is on Gov. Mary Fallin’s desk.

State senators gave Senate Bill 1212 their final approval late Wednesday night on a measure that allows gun owners to carry their firearms openly or hidden from view without a permit, passing state background checks or paying the related fees. They also won’t have to take 16 hours of firearms safety training currently required before carrying a gun in public.

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

State Senators sent Gov. Mary Fallin new standards for sentencing teens to life without parole Wednesday.

The standards were requested by state district attorneys and are a response to a U.S. Supreme Court ban on mandatory life without parole sentences for teens.

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Tucker McGee is in prison for murdering teenager JaRay Wilson. McGee was days away from turning 18. Now, more than five years after the murder, Legislators and district attorneys fear his sentence of life in prison without parole is on the verge of being reduced.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about a budget deal at the State Capitol could lead to an early end to the 2018 legislative session, the state House passes an amended criminal justice reform bill which makes it easier for juveniles to get life without parole and Governor Fallin vetoes a measure which would have allowed people to take selfies with their ballots.

In jails and prisons across the United States, mental illness is prevalent and psychiatric disorders often worsen because inmates don't get the treatment they need, says journalist Alisa Roth.

In her new book Insane: America's Criminal Treatment of Mental Illness, Roth investigates the widespread incarceration of the mentally ill in the U.S., and what she sees as impossible burdens placed on correctional officers to act as mental health providers when they're not adequately trained.

QUINTON CHANDLER/STATEIMPACT OKLAHOMA

Gov. Mary Fallin signed seven criminal justice reform bills this week ending a bumpy ride for legislation designed to curb prison population growth in Oklahoma.

Fallin says the measures represent smart ways to protect public safety, keep families together — and save taxpayer money.

Most of the legislation was introduced in 2017 but stalled in committee. This year, the bills were reconsidered after compromises between legislators, district attorneys and other government agencies.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the 2018 candidate filings which resulted in nearly 800 people deciding to run for public office, State Attorney General Mike Hunter faces a challenge to his candidacy based off his residency and lawmakers advance seven bills designed to reform Oklahoma's criminal justice system.

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Gunshots ring through the chapel of First United Methodist Church. An instructional video simulating shooting rampages plays on a projector screen hanging above the pulpit between two banners that read “Good Shepherd” and “Lion of Judah.”

It’s a weeknight at the church in Newkirk. More than 150 churchgoers from communities across northern Oklahoma listen as the movie narrator reminds them the U.S. has averaged “an active shooter event with four or more deaths, every 2.9 months” since 2006.

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