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Today In The News
For Thousands of Oklahomans, Civil Justice Is Out of Reach: Attorney Janet Roloff pauses as she tries to estimate what it would cost David and Minnie Harris if she had billed them for the hours she’s worked representing them in their mobile-home foreclosure case. “For three years of litigation against major corporations?” she asks, seated behind a cluttered desk in the McAlester field office for Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma. “You know, I’d have to say least a hundred thousand dollars.” That is well beyond the reach of the Harrises, a Fort Towson couple whose only income is Social Security disability payments. Still, Roloff is unsure her pro bono work will pay off [Oklahoma Watch].
Suicide care crisis follows years of underfunding: Francie Moss hit roadblocks as she tried to help her adult daughter get treatment for suicidal thoughts. She said she was frustrated in part because of the stigma associated with brain illnesses, and those diseases are treated differently than other illnesses. But it’s complicated and expensive to treat patients with mental health and substance abuse issues, said Mary Holloway Richard, health care attorney at Phillips Murrah. And Oklahoma’s agency that provides services for people who can’t pay for private services has been underfunded for decades. Hospital medical treatment for suicidal behavior is woefully inadequate, in some cases, Moss said. She said many hospitals will keep a suicidal patient for only three to five days [Journal Record].
Innocence Project exonerees recall 22 years behind bars: For most of us, an incredible number of life events took place between 1994 and 2016. Marriages, babies, vacations, job changes. For De’Marchoe Carpenter and Malcolm Scott, those 22 years included days that mostly looked the same — exercising, watching TV, writing letters, praying — all while incarcerated for a crime neither man committed. Carpenter and Scott have been back out in the free world since May 9, a date that will forever be etched in their minds. That was the day Tulsa County District Judge Sharon Holmes announced the two men — accused and convicted of killing 19-year-old single mom Karen Summers — were to be freed after 22 years in prison [NonDoc].
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