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PM NewsBrief: Nov. 8, 2023

This is the KGOU PM NewsBrief for Wednesday, November 8, 2023.

Clemency Recommended For Death Row Inmate Phillip Hancock

Death row inmate Phillip Hancock is scheduled to be executed at the end of the month for the murders of Robert Jett and James Lynch.

But the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board is recommending clemency.

Hancock’s attorneys opened Wednesday’s hearing by going over details supporting his claim he killed the two men in self-defense, including a video from a police questioning of a witness saying Jett was the aggressor.

Republican State Representatives Kevin McDugle and Justin Humphrey appeared before the Board to ask they recommend clemency, saying Oklahomans value self-defense.

Representatives from the Attorney General’s office argued Hancock did not act in self-defense and pointed out his previous violent crimes, including manslaughter.

The Board voted 3-2 to recommend clemency, but they did not recommend commutation.

It is now up to Gov. Kevin Stitt to grant or deny Hancock clemency.

Hancock is scheduled to be executed on Nov. 30.

Tribal-State Compacts Focus Of Interim Study

Tribal-state relationships were the focus of an interim study Tuesday.

Tribal Nation leaders gave lawmakers a history lesson on compacts they've had with the state.

In the 1990s tribal nations were selling tobacco without collecting taxes when it was sold to non-Native customers.

A U.S. Supreme Court decision said the state can't collect those taxes.

But Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby told lawmakers the tribes didn’t want to hurt the state during an interim study at the state capitol.

“Four of the of the tribes, which included the Chickasaw and the Choctaw, the Cherokee and the Seminole, approached the governor about coming to terms, having an agreement,” Anoatubby said.

Thus the first tribal state compact on tobacco was created.

It was the first of many compacts tribal nations entered into with the state.

House Speaker Charles McCall said he wants to ensure these long-lasting relationships can continue.

“I believe it will be very important for our state and for all people in the state of Oklahoma that compact and continue to be a forum for solutions for our state to move forward,” McCall said.

During the special session last summer, the legislature overrode two of Gov. Kevin Stitt's vetoes regarding tribal and vehicle tag compacts

Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Proposes New Hunting, Fishing Rules

Every year, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation revises the rules governing hunting and fishing across the state.

Proposed changes would limit anglers to 10 native non-game fish per day.

These species, like gar and carpsuckers, usually aren’t valued as meals, so catching them is mostly for sport.

The changes would also ban people who fish with bows or spears from returning fish they’ve shot to the water, instead requiring them to dispose of the carcasses according to the Department’s specifications.

Back on land, potential new rules would require hunters to pick up their shotgun shells in wildlife management areas, or they’d be classified as litter.

And prairie dog hunting could come to an end on some state-managed lands.

These are only a few of the proposed rules changes listed on the Department of Wildlife Conservation’s website. The public can comment on them through Dec. 8.

Mattel Unveils Wilma Mankiller Barbie

A new Barbie doll honors the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation.

The Wilma Mankiller doll is part of the Barbie “Inspiring Women” series.

Mattel says the Barbie design team worked directly with Wilman Mankiller’s Estate and the Cherokee Nation to sculpt the doll.

The Wilma Mankiller Barbie features a turquoise dress with ribbons signifying the four cardinal directions and carries a woven basket.

Mankiller served as the principal chief from 1985 to 1995.

In addition to the doll’s release, Barbie is donating $25,000 to The American Indian Resources Center.

The Cherokee Nation says a special event to celebrate the doll’s release would be happening in Tahlequah, with details to come.

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