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Senate and House to hear death penalty proposals

Sen. Anthony Sykes Sen. Anthony Sykes
Sen. Anthony Sykes, R-Moore, along with Rep. Mike Christian, R-OKC, and Rep. Fred Jordan, R-Jenks, discuss death penalty bills at Thursday press conference.

Sen. Anthony Sykes and Rep. Mike Christian today announced that the Senate and House on Thursday would take up proposals to support and defend the death penalty for the state’s worst criminals.

The House is scheduled to hear Sykes’ Senate Joint Resolution 31, which would send to a vote of the people a constitutional amendment that, if approved, ensures that death penalty statutes are in effect, that methods of execution can be changed, and that the death penalty is not cruel and unusual punishment.

Sykes said it was an urgent priority for the Senate to ensure that the state can administer the death penalty for our most heinous criminals.

“We have an obligation to the people of Oklahoma to ensure that we can effectively enforce the death penalty,” said Sykes, R-Moore. “Oklahomans strongly support the death penalty, and it is critical that we protect our ability to enforce it. This week, we will take action to guarantee that the will of the people is carried out.”

The Senate is slated to take up Rep. Christian’s House Bill 1879, which would replace the current multi-drug lethal injection format, and authorize executions of death row inmates via nitrogen hypoxia.
Christian said it was critical that the Legislature act to ensure the state can carry out the death penalty.

"With the current method of executions under attack and judicial scrutiny, it is imperative that we find an alternate way of delivering justice,” said Christian, R-Oklahoma City. “Through an in depth interim study, we have found that death by nitrogen hypoxia is the easiest, most humane, and cost effective way of carrying out the death penalty."

Contact info
Sen. Sykes: 405-521-5569