In The Know: Wrong drug stays Glossip execution

In The KnowIn The Know is a daily synopsis of Oklahoma policy-related news and blogs. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail.

Today In The News

Wrong Drug Stays Glossip Execution: Richard Glossip had eaten his second last meal and was watching television news Wednesday to figure out why he wasn’t dead yet. Outside the white walls of the Oklahoma State Penitentiary, Glossip’s family and friends thought he was already dead. Reporters heard them crying out in anguish when they learned the Supreme Court had denied Glossip’s request for a stay. Governor Fallin said she issued a last-minute, 37-day stay because the state didn’t have the right drug to carry out the execution [Oklahoma Watch].

Tulsa Sheriff to Resign Over Killing by Deputy: A grand jury here indicted the sheriff of Tulsa County on misconduct charges on Wednesday, and the sheriff’s lawyer said he will step down, six months after a volunteer reserve deputy accidentally shot and killed an unarmed man during an arrest [New York Times]. Grand jury testimony indicated that Glanz told key figures to “keep your mouth shut” and “if I was you, I wouldn’t talk about this” regarding recent investigations, reserve deputy qualifications, and other matters, according to the court record [Tulsa World]. A statement from We the People Oklahoma, which launched the petition drive calling for the grand jury investigation, is available here

FCC Will Vote on Capping Fees for Prison, Jail Phone Calls: Federal regulators will vote this month on whether to cap the fees that prisons and jails charge inmates and their family members for telephone calls. The costs of such calls have provoked a backlash from prisoner-advocacy groups and others, who say the companies that provide phone services in prisons and jails, including in Oklahoma, are gouging customers [Oklahoma Watch].

No more excuses:  The main facts behind the teacher shortage are widely known: Oklahoma has cut state aid for public education more than any other state since the last downturn, the Legislature has gone seven years without granting teachers a raise, and our average teacher salaries are the third lowest in the nation. Yet some elected officials and critics of public education continue to trot out excuses to deny our schools are underfunded or teachers are underpaid [Journal Record].

Oklahoma’s online voter registration still far from reality: Oklahoma’s online voter registration law becomes effective Nov. 1, but that doesn’t mean the system will be operational any time soon. This may come as a disappointing surprise to those planning registration drives incorporating online technology, but state Sen. David Holt, R-Oklahoma City, said it shouldn’t be [Tulsa World]. Online voter registration was one way we recommended increasing voter turnout [OK Policy].

Suicide rate among American Indian young adults remains high, report shows: American Indian and Alaskan Native young adults are dying by suicide at higher rates than other races and ethnic groups, according to a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study. Among teenagers and young adults ages 15 to 24, suicide was the second leading cause of death in 2013 [NewsOK]. The full report is available here

Federal judge rules in favor of Osage County wind development: Wind developments in Osage County do not violate tribal mineral rights, according to a federal court ruling Wednesday, rejecting arguments from both the Osage Nation and the U.S. Department of the Interior. In a lawsuit field last November, federal and tribal officials claimed that developers should have applied for permits from the Osage Nation before digging pits for the construction of wind turbine foundations, removing limestone and other natural resources that belong to the tribe under federal law [Tulsa World].

States that fought same-sex marriage owe millions in legal fees: Two months after the U.S. Supreme Court ended the legal debate over gay marriage by declaring that the constitutionally protected civil right to marriage must be extended to same-sex couples nationwide, attorneys general and governors who fought it are receiving unpleasant souvenirs of failure: Invoices from the attorneys who beat them. Tulsa County, for example, owes $298,000 [Al Jazeera America].

Oklahoma GOP offers home for Ten Commandments monument: The Oklahoma Republican Party is offering to provide a home for a Ten Commandments monument that has been ordered removed from the state Capitol grounds. In a statement Wednesday, interim party chairwoman Estela Hernandez offered to have the monument placed at the Dewey Bartlett Center, the home of the Oklahoma Republican Party [NewsOK].

Quote of the Day

“I’m sitting there watching TV trying to keep up with the news and find out what’s going on.”

– Richard Glossip, on waiting to be executed before being told his had received a stay yesterday. Gov. Fallin issued a 37-day stay because Oklahoma didn’t have the right drugs to carry out the execution. It was the fourth stay of execution Glossip had received. (Source)

Number of the Day

6 percent

Increase in imprisonment in Oklahoma from 2009-2014, the sixth largest increase in the nation. Imprisonment increased despite a 17 percent drop in crime rates.

Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics via the Pew Charitable Trusts.

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

Lots Of Candidates Want To Simplify Tax Code; Here’s What They Get Wrong: There’s something almost Name That Tune-ish about the way the GOP candidates are talking about tax brackets these days. Currently, there are seven. Donald Trump wants four. Jeb Bush says he can get them down to three. Chris Christie and Marco Rubio want two. Ben Carson does them one better — one 10 percent rate, inspired by the Bible. They’re not alone — President Obama has advocated fewer brackets as well. Why do this? One of the most common reasons they give is that it would make the tax code “simpler.” [NPR].

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Carly Putnam joined OK Policy in 2013. As Policy Director, she supervises policy research and strategy. She previously worked as an OK Policy intern, and she was OK Policy's health care policy analyst through July 2020. She graduated from the University of Tulsa in 2013. As a student, she was a participant in the National Education for Women (N.E.W.) Leadership Institute and interned with Planned Parenthood. Carly is a graduate of the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits Nonprofit Management Certification; the Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council’s Partners in Policymaking; The Mine, a social entrepreneurship fellowship in Tulsa; and Leadership Tulsa Class 62. She currently serves on the boards of Restore Hope Ministries and The Arc of Oklahoma. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, and doing battle with her hundred year-old house.

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