A death row inmate set for execution next month is refusing to leave his prison cell to attend his clemency hearing before the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board.
Clayton Lockett was slated to appear via video hookup before the board on Friday to ask for clemency.
But officials say Lockett refused to leave his cell, so his lawyer asked the board to commute Lockett's death sentence. Lockett is scheduled to be put to death March 20 for the 1999 death of 19-year-old Stephanie Nieman near Tonkawa.
The Oklahoma Board of Corrections is looking at three options to deal with overcrowding at the state’s prison facilities: expanding public prisons, contracting for more private-prison beds, and buying or leasing one of the state’s two empty private prisons.
Oklahoma Watch is a nonprofit organization that produces in-depth and investigative journalism on important public-policy issues facing the state. More Oklahoma Watch content can be found at www.oklahomawatch.org.
Oklahoma Watch reporter Clifton Adcock talks with KGOU about his investigation into efforts to weaken changes in state policy intended to reduce Oklahoma's high incarceration rates.
Behind-the-scenes moves by Gov. Mary Fallin’s senior staff members helped lead to a severe weakening of a program designed to cut the state’s high incarceration rates and save taxpayers more than $200 million over a decade, according to interviews and records obtained by Oklahoma Watch.
The efforts by the governor’s staff, assisted by legislative leaders, to take control of the Justice Reinvestment Initiative took place during periods when staff members met with representatives of private prison companies, which stood to gain or lose depending on how the initiative was implemented, emails and logs of visitors to Fallin’s offices show.
During that time, private-prison company representatives also made donations to Fallin’s 2014 campaign as well as to legislators, Oklahoma Ethics Commission records indicate.
The executive director of the Oklahoma Dept. of Corrections announced Monday he will resign Oct. 1, according to eCapitol’s Shawn Ashley. The announcement from Justin Jones comes after a legislative session where the department’s funding was not increased and its budget practices were called into question by key legislative and executive budget negotiators.
The two leaders of a working committee overseeing Oklahoma's plan to lower the state's prison population have resigned, saying they would no longer chair the group and couldn't ask other members to keep serving.
Former House Speaker Kris Steele and Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater resigned Thursday as chairmen of the Justice Reinvestment Initiative group. They cited what they call dishonesty from Gov. Mary Fallin's office and a House vote creating a committee that could replace them.