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Capital Punishment

PHILADELPHIA — From the very first death-penalty appeal he worked on, Marc Bookman came to understand how crucial writing can be in life-and-death matters. The verdict form was missing a single "s" — an error that changed the meaning of the verdict enough to overturn the sentence. The case also left him with a sense that the entire system of capital punishment can be arbitrary and even absurd, ...

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We see no reason to rush our Oklahoma's move toward nitrogen executions, an untried method to capital punishment. The state took too many lumps over its lethal injection debacles. We'd just as soon see other states be the test cases. Oklahomans want justice and they want it quickly, but there's no reason we can lay back modestly and let other states prove the method in court and in practice.

Our state’s leaders owe it to Oklahomans to review the commission’s recommendations and enact serious reforms to guarantee innocence protection, procedural fairness, and justice for all. Until then, the current moratorium should remain in place.

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“What we all agreed on was that if you’re going to have the death penalty, it ought to be done right,” said former Gov. Brad Henry, who helped lead the review. “It ought to be done in a way that, as best we can, ensures no innocent person is ever put to death by the state of Oklahoma.”

Document: Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission full report

VIDEO: Former Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry discusses Death Penalty Review Commission report

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The general election on Nov. 8 will decide a lot more than who gets to move into the Oval Office. It’s a vote that will have a major impact on…

Michael Bever, 17, is charged with five counts of first-degree murder in the death of his parents and three younger siblings, as well as one count of assault and battery with intent to kill in connection with an attack on his teenage sister. His older brother has already pleaded guilty and is in prison.

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