Wagner and Lynch is more than just a law firm, we are citizen advocates for criminal justice reform. We firmly believe that the fight for our clients begins, not in the courtroom, but in the halls of our capitals and in the ballot boxes across the country. For the State of Oklahoma, we have prepared the following proposed amendments and additions to Oklahoma statutes. If you would like to help advocate for these changes, please feel free to use the language here, just be sure to list the source – our page https://seoklaw.com/advance-justice/

Recording(s) – An Amendment to Open Records Act

Require that all police officers wear personal audio/video recording devices

a.       All interviews, interrogations, statements, etc. must be recorded

b.       Any incriminating statements by persons ultimately filed by information shall be inadmissible absent said statement being recorded, or proof of:

                   i.      Unforeseeable failure of equipment,

                   ii.      Unavoidable circumstance that prevented the officer from record the statement,

                   iii.      The statement, collected by a third-party, for law enforcement purposes, is corroborated by substantial, independent evidence, or

                   iv.      The officer received prior permission of the Court to not record the statement.

Required Warnings – Addition(s) to Title 22

Any person that is a potential suspect, person of interest, or suspect in a criminal investigation shall be advised of her Miranda rights in addition to the following:

a.       You are advised that it is strongly encouraged that you speak with an attorney prior to making any statement, and

b.       You are advised that police may, if it is necessary to the completion of their duties, lie, mislead, or otherwise deceive you during the course of any and all interviews, without notice to you of said deceptions.

c.       Juvenile potential suspects, persons of interest, or suspects shall additionally be advised that:

                   i.      Your parent or Guardian may have a conflict of interest or be unaware of the benefits of not participating in this interview. Because of your age you are further advised that, if you request it, you may have an attorney appointed to you that can provide you independent advice.

Discovery and Disclosures – Addition(s) to Title 22

No statement shall be admitted in a criminal proceeding if it is determined that the statement was procured using the Reid method or if any part of the statement was procured thorough deception unless:

a.       The statement is supported by separate, independent corroborating evidence, not procured by way of or as a direct result of the statement in question,

b.       The Court determines that the deception(s) of the person who procured the statement was not unnecessarily dishonest, and

c.       The Defendant was not impaired, disabled, or limited in any way that would make them susceptible to making potentially false statements.

Bond Regulations

Bond

a.       The presumption in all non-capital criminal matters is that bond is appropriate based on the financial capabilities of the Defendant, as such the Court shall:

                   i.      Consider the financial status of the Defendant when setting any bond and shall set it based on the Defendant’s income in addition to the existing relevant factors.

b.       The presumption shall be that the Defendant and public will be better served with conditional bond subject to reasonable supervision or monitoring by GPS or other means.

c.       No conditions of bond shall be imposed that would interfere with the due process rights of the Defendant. Specifically, their rights to privacy and to not have their bodies invaded without consent.

Criminal Disclosure

Disclosure

a.       Upon filing of an information for criminal prosecution the Prosecutor or prosecuting agency shall make inquiry with all involved law enforcement agencies for the disclosure of all documents, electronic documents, recordings, correspondence, interviews, statements, photos, videos, audio, all evidence reports or lab submissions, and ALL other records of the investigation.

b.       Within fifteen (15) days of the information being filed and the information request being submitted, Notice of Availability of Disclosures shall be filed in the criminal proceeding.

c.       Defendant may acquire a copy of said materials. It shall be preferable to have these items available electronically.

d.       Defendant shall be able to provide a blank flash drive for a free copy of the Disclosures. If Defendant requests the Disclosures in print, she shall be responsible for the expense of their production as follows:

                   i.      $0.05 per page for black and white copies

                   ii.      $0.10 per page for color copies

                   iii.      $1.00 for all compact discs

e.       All updates to the investigation from ANY source must be disclosed to the State within fifteen (15) days of the conclusion of that portion of the investigation. The State shall file a supplemental Notice of Availability of Disclosures within ten (10) days of receipt of all investigatory material following the initial Notice of Availability of Disclosures.

f.        Following the preliminary hearing the State shall send a final request to all agencies or officials involved in any investigation related to the subject criminal matter prior to District Court Arraignment or within thirty (30) days, whichever is later.

g.       Following the final request and receipt of the final materials, the State shall file a Notice of Availability for Final Disclosures within fifteen (15) days of receipt of the District Court Arraignment, whichever is later.

h.       Final Disclosures and Supplemental Disclosures shall be available for the Defendant for the same expense as the discussed above.

i.         The Court shall enter a Discovery Order in all criminal matters set for Jury or Non-Jury Trial that includes a date by which the State an Defendant must exchange all Discovery intended for use in the Trial.

j.         Any Discovery provided by the State which was not previously provided in Disclosure(s) shall be accompanied by a motion to allow such evidence that describes the reason is was not provided in the prior required Disclosures. All evidence provided in Discovery that was not provided in the Disclosures must be suppressed unless it is found that the prior failure to disclose was:

                   i.      Due to unavoidable circumstance, or

                   ii.      Is not material to the Defense, or

                   iii.      Was not withheld without just cause or acceptable reason.

k.       Should Discovery Material be found to be able to satisfy the requirements above, the Court shall grant, without prejudice, a request for continuance to the Defense. Further, the Defense shall be allowed to amend their Discovery to include relevant evidence or witnesses necessary to address the State’s Discovery, not previously disclosed.

Right to Decline – Amendment to Victim’s Rights Acts (21 OS 142A/Art. 2 Sec. 34) 

Victim’s Right to Decline

a.       A victim of an alleged crime may elect to refuse to cooperate with the prosecution of a criminal matter.

b.       The State shall prepare a form, which shall be made available on the website operated by the Administrative Office of the Courts in a conspicuous place amongst other forms, that includes the following:

                   i.      Alleged Victim’s name,

                   ii.      AV phone number,

                   iii.      AV address,

                   iv.      A statement about the potential criminal actions for filing a false police report,

                   v.      An option to initial beside the following statement: _____ (initials) I elect to exercise my right to refuse to participate in the criminal prosecution of __________________ (Defendant),

                  vi.      Signature line

                  vii.      Notary public verification

c.       Upon receipt of a declination to prosecute form that is validly executed the State shall IMMEDIATLEY disclose the same to the Defendant.

d.       The State may subpoena the declining victim to a hearing if they file a motion to exclude the declination. The only relevant areas of inquiry are:

                   i.      Does the affiant understand the consequence of the declination,

                   ii.      Was the affiant forced or coerced in to the execution of the declination, and

                   iii.      Was the affiant promised anything in exchange for the execution of the declination.

e.       If the Court is satisfied that the affiant understood the consequences of the execution of the declination, and was not forced, coerced, or promised anything in exchange for the declination it shall order the affiant released from any obligation to participate in the criminal action unless subpoenaed by the Defendant if the State decides to continue with the prosecution.

f.        No declining victim, whose affidavit was accepted without hearing or accepted after a hearing may be compelled to appear to testify against the Defendant in the criminal action for which they executed the Declination form by the State of Oklahoma.

Waiver of Immunity – Amendment to GTCA (51 OS 151)

Waiver of Immunity

a.       Prosecutorial immunity shall not extend to:

                   i.      Prosecutions where Brady or exculpatory material is not timely and properly disclosed,

                   ii.      Violations of Court Orders or statutes regarding Discovery or Disclosures, or

                   iii.      Malicious prosecution where it can be established that the prosecutor (1) intentionally or maliciously, (2) brought or pursued a criminal, civil or quasi civil/criminal action, (3) without probable cause, (4) that is ultimately dismissed in favor of the victim of said prosecution.

Civil Asset Forfeiture – New Statute(s) Titles 21, 22, 63

Civil Asset Forfeiture

a.       No action for Civil Asset forfeiture may be brought in excess of the maximum total fine available in the alleged criminal activity.

b.       A successful Civil Asset Forfeiture action that is related to a criminal matter and results in the judgment to the State for an item(s) or funds shall see those funds first applied to any and all applicable fines and Court Costs of the Defendant.

                   i.      The balance, if any, of the forfeiture proceeds may be utilized as otherwise allowable by law.

High Speed Pursuit – New Statutes in Title 47

High Speed Pursuits

    a.  No law enforcement officer shall engage in pursuit of a suspect upon city streets within the geographical boundaries of any city or town when speeds reach more than 20 mph over the posted speed limit, unless the person(s) in pursuit articulate, at the time of the pursuit, a necessity for its continuation that is compelling and the pursuit is approved by a commanding officer who is not part of the pursuit.

    b.  Law enforcement officers and agencies shall not engage in high speed ground pursuits of suspects over any state or federal highways within the State of Oklahoma, when such speeds may present a danger to other motorists, the officer(s) involved, the suspect, or the general public, unless the person(s) in pursuit articulate, at the time of the pursuit, a necessity for its continuation that is compelling and the pursuit is approved by a commanding officer who is not part of the pursuit.