McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

March 2, 2013

Oklahoma Capitol Almanac


Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY —  Okla. panel unveils recommendations following 2-year study into wrongful criminal convictions

A group formed two years ago to find ways to prevent wrongful criminal convictions has released its recommendations that focus on use of confessions, DNA evidence and eyewitness identification.

The Oklahoma Justice Commission’s 39-page report recommends videotaping suspect interrogations and confessions, which can sometimes be given falsely in response to pressure from law enforcement officials. The commission also recommends changing some procedures in photo line-ups to prevent investigators from influencing witnesses and it calls on the state government to fully fund training programs.

Oklahoma City Chief of Police Bill Citty says his department and others already follow many of the recommendations. Commission chairman and former Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson says the report isn’t an indictment of law enforcement — but instead simply gives ways to make investigations better.

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Quote of the day:

“It’s not an indictment against law enforcement. It’s just that you always want to try to do things better.”

Oklahoma Police Chief and Oklahoma Justice Commission member Bill Citty on recommendations to prevent wrongful criminal convictions.