Former Gov. Henry To Lead Expert Panel Examining Death Penalty Procedures

Mar 28, 2016

A dozen Oklahoma attorneys and business leaders are donating their time to independently review Oklahoma’s capital punishment practices. Former Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry is co-chairing the Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission.

“Oklahoma has an opportunity to lead the nation by being the first state to conduct extensive research on its entire death penalty process, beginning with an arrest that could lead to an execution,” Henry said in a press release.

Former Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals and Assistant District Attorney of Canadian County Reta Strubhar and Andy Lester, a former U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Western District of Oklahoma, chair the commission with Henry.

“Our goal is to provide a resource for Oklahomans to allow them to make informed judgments about our state’s capital punishment system that, we hope, will benefit both Oklahoma and the country as a whole,” Henry said.  

Local leaders like former House Speaker Kris Steele and Dean Emeritus of the University of Oklahoma’s College of Law Andrew Coats are also part of the Commission. The findings will be part of the first-ever bipartisan and independent review of the state's capital punishment system. 

A comprehensive report is expected in early 2017.

KGOU is a community-supported news organization and relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online, or by contacting our Membership department.