Death Penalty
9:44 am
Thu April 30, 2015

Manufacturer Asks Oklahoma To Return Execution Drug

James Heilman, MD Wikimedia Commons

One of the pharmaceutical manufacturers that produces a drug used in Oklahoma’s botched execution last year has asked the state to return all of the doses of the drug.

Illinois-based Akorn is one of several manufacturers that makes the sedative midazolam, which is part of a three-drug cocktail used in lethal injections in Oklahoma and other states.

The company sent a letter to state Attorney General Scott Pruitt on March 4 demanding that any of the company’s midazolam be returned for a full refund. The company said its drugs are not approved for executions.

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It's All Politics
5:12 am
Thu April 30, 2015

It's Sotomayor V. Roberts In Supreme Court Death Penalty Drama

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor grilled lawyers arguing the constitutionality of new lethal-injection cocktails.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 29, 2015 6:13 pm

Lethal injection was the grim subject before the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday. Specifically at issue: whether the drug combinations currently used to execute convicted murderers in some states are unconstitutionally cruel.

The issue comes to the court after three botched executions over the past year.

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Oklahoma News
6:18 pm
Wed April 29, 2015

Court Of Civil Appeals Upholds Prisoner Per Diem Ruling

Credit creationc / Stock.XCHNG

The Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals has upheld a district court ruling that it's unconstitutional to require counties to use county revenue to house state inmates in county jails.

The ruling on Wednesday comes in a lawsuit filed in 2013 by the Bryan County Board of Commissioners against the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. It challenged per diem rates paid for housing state prisoners.

The ruling says inmates are held in county jails on behalf of the state prison system, and the state constitution requires the state to fund the system.

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Oklahoma News
5:12 pm
Wed April 29, 2015

State Sen. Ralph Shortey Wants More Training For Volunteer Officers

State Sen. Ralph Shortey (District 44, R-Oklahoma City)
Credit Oklahoma Senate

An Oklahoma lawmaker wants tougher requirements for people to be volunteer law enforcement officers after an unarmed suspect was shot dead by a 73-year-old reserve deputy in Tulsa County.

Flanked by current and former sheriffs and the head of the state's law enforcement training agency, state Sen. Ralph Shortey said Wednesday his bill would increase from 240 to 300 hours the amount of training a reserve officer must receive. Volunteer officers would also be required to obtain at least 12 hours of continuing education annually. None are required now.

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Death Penalty
5:01 pm
Wed April 29, 2015

LISTEN: Justices Fire Sharp Questions During Death-Penalty Hearing

U.S. Supreme Court West Facade.
Credit UpstateNYer / Wikimedia Commons

Updated May 1 at 12:15 p.m.: Listen to the oral arguments from Wednesday's Supreme Court hearing on Oklahoma's death penalty challenge. 

Original post below:

Exactly one year after a botched execution in Oklahoma, the state’s new lethal injection protocol came under intense questioning Wednesday by a divided U.S. Supreme Court, with the pivotal justice, Anthony Kennedy, doing little to tip his hand.

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Oklahoma News
3:17 pm
Wed April 29, 2015

Texting While Driving Ban Sent To Gov. Fallin's Desk

Credit Jason Weaver / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma House has approved legislation to ban texting and driving in the state.

Without debate, the House voted 85-7 for the bill Wednesday and sent it to Gov. Mary Fallin for her signature. Applause broke out in the chamber after the bill by Republican Rep. Terry O'Donnell of Tulsa was approved.

Lawmakers approved the bill after accepting an amendment by the Senate that makes texting and driving a primary offense, meaning Oklahoma drivers could be pulled over and ticketed for texting while driving alone without committing any another traffic offense.

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OneSix8
1:01 pm
Wed April 29, 2015

15 Female Artists Work Well Together At Fifth Annual FRINGE Collective Show

Beatriz Mayorca's "Rowing Boat #1" From The Lines Collection. Wood, metal, burlap. 24” x 4” x 5.25”. All images included here represent artworks on display and for sale at the upcoming FRINGE group show May 1-30 at the Project Box.
Beatriz Mayorca

On a recent Saturday afternoon, 13 women and a baby gathered around a large work table in a small storefront gallery on Paseo Drive in Oklahoma City. The white walls were decorated with “Husbands, Wives and Lovers,” a group of about 15 oil paintings by Mary James Ketch, one of the women seated at the table. Frequent laughter erupted and echoed off the tile floor and high ceiling of the narrow Project Box.

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Business and Economy
12:34 pm
Wed April 29, 2015

Oklahoma City Development Trust Approves $7.2 Million In Incentives To Boeing, Paycom

Credit Urbanative / Wikimedia Commons

Oklahoma City leaders have approved $7.2 million in economic incentives for two businesses to create more than 1,300 new jobs in the area.

The Oklahoma City Economic Development Trust decided Wednesday that the city can begin negotiations with Boeing Co. and Paycom Software Inc.

The Oklahoman reports the group gave the green light for $6 million in economic development incentives for Boeing. The aerospace company is expected to bring about 900 jobs, including engineering positions, to the city from other states.

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Death Penalty
12:15 pm
Wed April 29, 2015

U.S. Supreme Court Justices Divided On Oklahoma's Death Penalty Challenge

Credit Oklahoma Department of Corrections

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday morning on Oklahoma’s death penalty protocol and whether the use of a new sedative might cause cruel and unusual punishment. 

Justices took turns asking heated questions to both Robin Konrad, who represents the Oklahoma death row inmates, and Oklahoma Solicitor General Patrick Wyrick.

Justice Anthony Kennedy is often the pivotal vote in close cases. He remained quiet through the hearing and did little to reveal which way he was leaning.  

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World Views
10:49 am
Wed April 29, 2015

Gaining Insight On East German Culture Through Film And Literature

The poster for the 1966 East German Western film 'Die Söhne der großen Bärin' (literally 'The Sons of the Great She-Bear'), directed by the Czechoslovakian filmmaker Josef Mach
Credit Bahavd Gita / Wikimedia Commons

In 1949, postwar Germany officially split into two separate countries with the formation of the German Democratic Republic. Also known as East Germany, the GDR was isolated from the Western world for nearly three decades, but it developed its own, equally rich literary and cinematic cultures.

East Germany did begin producing motion pictures before it officially broke away from West Germany. The films initially were rooted in similar cinematic traditions, says Oregon State University German language professor and world culture scholar Sebastian Heiduschke. He says when the Berlin Wall went up, the similarities between East and West German filmmaking began to disappear.

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