Last September, I was in Oklahoma participating in press conferences and speaking engagements to educate individuals on the broken death penalty and why Oklahomans shouldn’t pass SQ 776, which would add the death penalty to their Bill of Rights. While I was in the Sooner State, I interviewed with Kate Greer from KOSU, and we discussed SQ 776. You can listen to the interview here, but below are some of the highlights:
State Question 776 says the death penalty does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment or violate any other part of the state constitution. Dunham says the referendum would strip those condemned to death of Constitutional rights, including their protection against cruel and unusual punishment.
“That strikes me and many other observers as violating the federal Constitution’s right to equal protection,” Dunham says. “And states are free to provide rights to defendants but states are not free to discriminate between classes of individuals and say that some have some rights and others have other rights.”
“The death penalty is obviously kind of litigious program as is and this is going to give more options for I’m sure appeals and lawsuits,” Marc Hyden from Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty says.
Potentially pricey proposal
Hyden argues the measure inevitably lends itself to litigation. And he says those lawsuits will directly affect Oklahoma taxpayers.
“They’re the ones getting stuck with this tab. So they’re going to have to pay an enormous amount of money and they will have nothing to show for it.”