COMMENTARY – Oklahoma Death Penalty Commission – Read The Report

Oklahoma City – Release of the new Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission report ( is a transformative moment in the history of, and the debate over, capital punishment in our state. I hope that every Oklahoman, regardless of their position on this divisive public policy issue, will carefully study this historic report. I believe it has the potential to change minds and hearts on this issue of paramount importance.
A 300-page report with scholarly-style footnotes can be challenging for anyone. Nonetheless, I encourage every Oklahoman concerned about fairness and justice to read this report ( 
I assume the good will and decency of most people who comment on or advocate for any position in this matter. However, I contend that until you have absorbed this historic and comprehensive document, you do not have the full picture of the ‘state of play’ for this deadly serious issue. 
Created by a bipartisan panel of eleven prominent state and community leaders – both men and women – the treatment is detailed, nuanced and even-handed. The report is reflective of the best in us, not of our baser instincts. In short, it is a ‘must-read’.
I plea especially to state legislators and other elected officials at all levels of government to read this yearlong in preparation, first of its kind report, and consider the astute and carefully-presented recommendations.