Mike Hunter

The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board is asking the state Attorney General’s opinion on whether death row prisoners qualify for its commutation process. The board voted unanimously to send the question to Attorney General Mike Hunter’s office.

Board members say they have reviewed the state law that defines their powers and aren't sure whether the normal commutation process applies to death penalty cases.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the governor activating the National Guard in response to the protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the State Health Department reverses its course on limiting certain data on COVID-19 and a petition to create an independent redistricting commission gets approval from the state supreme court, but its future remains uncertain.

 

The State Health Department is reversing course on releasing detailed COVID-19 data.

Attorney General Mike Hunter says he has worked with the agency to make sure data from smaller cities and zip codes gets released without jeopardizing personal information.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court is ordering the Secretary of State’s office to accept and count signatures demanding a felony sentencing reform question be added to the ballot this year.

The Secretary of State’s office said it wouldn’t accept more than 260,000 signatures supporting the ballot initiative because the work would put the office at risk of spreading coronavirus.

State Supreme Court justices decided the office hadn’t proven it couldn’t count the signatures safely.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about lawmakers attaching strings to a new round of executive powers to the governor, legislative leaders announce a budget deal and Republicans push through a bill requiring notarization of absentee ballots.

OKLAHOMA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

A federal judge on Tuesday ruled against death row prisoners who complained the state gave them incomplete rules for how it would carry out executions in the future.

The prisoners’ attorneys said when the state released new execution protocols, it was supposed to share details on new training for execution teams. The plaintiffs also complained the state hadn’t shared details on a potential new execution method.

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On Tuesday, Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter issued an opinion saying Governor Kevin Stitt cannot enter into compacts with tribes that authorize gaming activity prohibited by state law.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about State Attorney General Mike Hunter calling for an audit of the Department of Health and cities follow quickly behind the state after Governor Stitt announced plans to reopen Oklahoma for business.

The trio also discusses state leaders asking if its possible to cancel federal unemployment checks of $600 a week and lawmakers are scheduled to return on Monday.

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter is seeking an audit of the State Health Department. The request came after reports of extreme steps by state officials to get personal protective equipment to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak.

Earlier this week, the state canceled a $9.5 million purchase from a company after it came under investigation by the FBI.

Governor Kevin Stitt criticized Hunter, saying he’s disappointed to see the agency entangled in an investigation in the midst of responding to the current crisis.

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Two tribes signed new agreements this week that would begin sports betting and table games. That led to criticism from the state legislature and the state attorney general. Both argue the Governor doesn’t have the authority from the legislature to authorize these new forms of gaming. 

 

Governor Kevin Stitt and Oklahoma's Attorney General Mike Hunter tussled over compact signed with the Comanche Nation and the Otoe-Missouria Tribe on Tuesday to begin sports betting and banked table gaming, such as blackjack, craps and roulette.

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