Oklahoma Legislature mulls changes in criminal justice system - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Oklahoma Legislature mulls changes in criminal justice system

Posted: Updated:

Oklahoma City, OK - Oklahoma's criminal justice system is in need of reform, according to some state legislators.

Currently, post-conviction DNA testing can be requested by convicts in every state except Oklahoma - and state lawmakers say that needs to change.  House Bill 1068, or the "Postconviction DNA Act," Would allow convicted criminals to ask for additional DNA testing of evidence in certain cases. 

Although Oklahoma does allow for such testing, there is no established application process for the convicts themselves.  Cases would be limited to those convicted of violent felonies or sentenced to 25 years or more, among other criteria.

The bill's author, Rep. Lee Denney, says such a system would be an asset to both criminal and social justice.

"I think as a state, we definitely want to lock up the people that we're scared of, the people that have committed crimes," says Denney, "but if we have people sitting in our state prisons that are actually innocent, we want to move as fast as we can to exonerate them."

The bill passed the house in February, and was unanimously approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee earlier today.

To date, there have 303 people have been exonerated in the U.S., including 11 in Oklahoma and 47 in Texas.

If you'd like to learn more about HB 1068 or DNA exonerations across the state, follow the links attached to this story.

  • Local HeadlinesMore>>

  • UTPB Student Arrested For Sexual Assault

    UTPB Student Arrested For Sexual Assault

    A UTPB student has been arrested in connection with a sexual assault on the UTPB Campus. We're told Treasure Lee Luvaul was arrested and charged on Tuesday with sexual assault.
    A UTPB student has been arrested in connection with a sexual assault on the UTPB Campus. We're told Treasure Lee Luvaul was arrested and charged on Tuesday with sexual assault.
  • Odessa Police Recruit Terminated Following Investigation

    Odessa Police Recruit Terminated Following Investigation

    An Odessa Police recruit has been fired following an investigation into a fight at a house a few weeks ago. As you may recall, officers were called to a house in the 4200 block of Wayside back on August 24.
    An Odessa Police recruit has been fired following an investigation into a fight at a house a few weeks ago. As you may recall, officers were called to a house in the 4200 block of Wayside back on August 24.
  • Odessa Man Arrested Following Morning Stabbing

    Odessa Man Arrested Following Morning Stabbing

    An Odessa man is behind bars following a stabbing in Odessa. Police were called out to the 400 block of Seminole just after 3:45 a.m. Monday morning.
    An Odessa man is behind bars following a stabbing in Odessa. Police were called out to the 400 block of Seminole just after 3:45 a.m. Monday morning.
ADVERTISEMENT
Bookmark and Share