Kate Carlton Greer

Reporter

Kate Carlton Greer is a general assignment reporter for KGOU and Oklahoma Public Media Exchange. She previously covered Oklahoma's efforts in tornado response and recovery as part of "Ahead of the Storm: The Oklahoma Tornado Project."

She grew up in Flower Mound, Texas, and studied broadcasting and electronic media at the University of Oklahoma. 

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A group wanting criminal justice reform measures on November’s ballot submitted more than 200,000 signatures to the Oklahoma Secretary of State’s office Thursday.

The two state questions complement new laws passed during the 2016 legislative session.

ThreeIfByBike / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Oklahomans will have a chance to vote on expanding the state’s liquor laws this November.

State representatives approved Senate Joint Resolution 68 and its counterpart Senate Bill 383 on Thursday. The bill provides a new outline allowing full-strength, chilled beer to be sold in grocery and convenience stores and would require clerks who sell alcohol to be at least 18-years-old should voters approve a state question this fall.

State Representative Glen Mulready, R-Tulsa, said the legislation allows voters to be better informed ahead of the liquor law vote.

SUE OGROCKI / AP

The Oklahoma House of Representatives reversed itself Wednesday on a bill it defeated 48-44 on Monday. The new vote approves modifications of the requirements to become the head of the state Department of Corrections.

Under the bill’s language, the agency director no longer needs a master’s degree or five years experience in corrections. The changes make the Department of Corrections’ current Interim Director Joe Allbaugh eligible.

A State Representative called for the resignation of Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel Tuesday. House Public Safety Committee Chair Mike Christian, R-Oklahoma City, said during a press conference he was concerned about the management of the jail.   

Over the weekend, two inmates died in their cells and a third inmate escaped the facility. 

Kate Carlton Greer / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

Oklahoma’s top officials say they’re taking time to thoroughly read a scathing 106-page report released Thursday criticizing Oklahoma’s execution protocols.

Gov. Mary Fallin and Department of Corrections Interim Director Joe Allbaugh both released statements acknowledging the 12-member panel of the multicounty grand jury and the process of reviewing capital punishment procedures.

“It is imperative that Oklahoma be able to manage the execution process properly,” Fallin said in a statement Thursday.

OKLAHOMA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

A multicounty grand jury released findings regarding Oklahoma’s execution procedures Thursday.

Photo provided

Governor Mary Fallin signed into law a number of criminal justice reform bills Wednesday. The legislation is part of recommendations from a steering committee that met in the fall.

The governor signed:

facebook.com/Wagoner-County-Sheriffs-Office-237022946443416

A multicounty grand jury indicted Wagoner County Sheriff Robert Steven Colbert and Deputy Jeffrey T. Gragg on three felony charges Thursday. The panel also asked for the immediate suspension of Colbert.

Members of the 15th Multicounty Grand Jury allege Colbert and Gragg conspired to receive a bribe or extort by using threats, receiving a bribe or extortion using threats and extortion induced by threats.

Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform launched a petition drive Thursday aimed at reducing the prison population and redirecting savings to create treatment and rehabilitation programs. 

Former House Speaker and current chair of the coalition Kris Steele stood with political, faith and business leaders and argued the importance of helping convicted felons.

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders made an appearance Sunday in downtown Oklahoma City. The Vermont Senator cheered a “political revolution” during his most recent visit to the Sooner State, which drew thousands of young voters.

Sanders’ appearance in Oklahoma was the second within a week as he tried to gain voters ahead of Super Tuesday.

During his speech at the Cox Convention Center, Sanders highlighted differences between himself and his opponent Hillary Clinton. He boasted the average contribution for his campaign is $27.

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