Articles written by Sean Murphy

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 By SEAN MURPHY    Regional    February 21, 2024 

Oklahoma police are investigating a nonbinary teen's death after a fight in a high school bathroom

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Police in Oklahoma are investigating the death of a 16-year-old student who died a day after an altercation in a high school bathroom that may have been prompted by bullying over gender identity. Neither police nor school...

 

Tribal sovereignty among the top issues facing Oklahoma governor and Legislature

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Tribal sovereignty is expected to again be a top issue facing Oklahoma lawmakers and Gov. Kevin Stitt as they returned on Monday to begin the 2024 legislative session. Stitt, a Republican and himself a citizen of the Cherokee...

 

Oklahoma asks teachers to return up to $50,000 in bonuses the state says were paid in error

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — With four young children and a fifth on the way, Kristina Stadelman was ecstatic after qualifying for a $50,000 bonus for taking a hard-to-fill job as a special education teacher in Oklahoma. She used the money to finish home...

 

Oklahoma schools chief says he's trying to let teachers keep bonuses paid in error

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma State Superintendent Ryan Walters said Wednesday his agency is working to see if several teachers who were improperly awarded bonuses of up to $50,000 can keep them after he faced bipartisan criticism over attempts to...

 

Will other states replicate Alabama's nitrogen execution?

ATMORE, Ala. (AP) — Alabama's first-ever use of nitrogen gas for an execution could gain traction among other states and change how the death penalty is carried out in the United States, much like lethal injection did more than 40 years ago,...

 

Oklahoma superintendent faces blowback for putting Libs of TikTok creator on library panel

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma's new Republican superintendent of public schools is facing bipartisan criticism for appointing a right-wing social media influencer from New York to a state library advisory committee. Superintendent of Public Instruc... Full story

 

Why are states like Alabama, which is planning to use nitrogen gas, exploring new execution methods?

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Alabama execution Thursday that would be the first to use nitrogen gas is the result of a long history of problems with lethal injections since Texas first used the method in 1982, including difficulties finding usable veins...

 

Oklahoma's next lethal injection delayed for 100 days for competency hearing

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The lethal injection of an Oklahoma man scheduled to be executed next month has been paused for 100 days so that a hearing can be held to determine if he's mentally competent enough to be executed. The Oklahoma Court of...

 

Dispute over criminal jurisdiction flares in Oklahoma between tribal police, jailers

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A dispute erupted this week between police officers from the Muscogee Nation and jailers in a small eastern Oklahoma county that led to one jailer facing a battery charge in tribal court. The confrontation underscores the tensi...

 

Barbie doll honoring Cherokee Nation leader is met with mixed emotions

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An iconic chief of the Cherokee Nation, Wilma Mankiller, inspired countless Native American children as a powerful but humble leader who expanded early education and rural healthcare. Her reach is now broadening with a...

 

Oklahoma Supreme Court keeps anti-abortion laws on hold while challenge is pending

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Supreme Court reiterated its position on Tuesday in a 5-4 opinion that the state constitution guarantees a woman's right to an abortion when necessary to preserve her life, although the procedure remains illegal...

 

Oklahoma trooper tickets Native American citizen, sparking outrage from tribal leaders

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper ticketed a tribal citizen with a current Otoe-Missouria Tribe license plate for failing to pay state taxes, prompting an outcry from tribal leaders who blamed Gov. Kevin Stitt's increasing...

 

Oklahoma attorney general sues to stop US's first public religious school

Oklahoma's Republican Attorney General Gentner Drummond on Friday sued to stop a state board from establishing and funding what would be the nation's first religious public charter school after the board ignored Drummond's warning that it would viola...

 

Oklahoma judge dismisses case of man who spent 30 years in prison for Ada rape

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma judge on Tuesday exonerated a man who spent 30 years in prison for a 1987 rape and burglary, after post-conviction DNA testing from a rape kit showed he did not commit the crime. Pontotoc County District Judge...

 

An Oklahoma man used pandemic relief funds to have his name cleared of murder

GREENWOOD, Ark. (AP) — Ricky Dority spends most of his days playing with his grandchildren, feeding chickens and working in the yard where he lives with his son's family. It's a jarring change from where he was just several months ago, locked in a...

 

Republican-led Oklahoma committee considers pause on executions amid death case scrutiny

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma has executed more people per capita than any other state in the U.S. since the death penalty resumed nationwide after 1976, but some Republican lawmakers on Thursday were considering trying to impose a moratorium...

 

Oklahoma's Republican governor wants to cut taxes. His GOP colleagues aren't sold on the idea.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt renewed his pitch on Thursday for lawmakers to reduce the state's individual income tax rate, but not all of his Republican colleagues in the Legislature are sold on the idea. On the first day of a spe...

 

Man executed for the 1996 killing of a University of Oklahoma dance student

McALESTER, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma executed an inmate Thursday for the 1996 killing of a University of Oklahoma dance student, in a case that went unsolved for years until DNA from the crime scene was matched to a man serving prison time for...

 

Oklahoma schools head takes aim at Tulsa district. Critics say his motives are politically driven

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — In his first year as head of Oklahoma's public schools, State Superintendent Ryan Walters has taken on what he describes as "radical leftists" indoctrinating students. He has sought to ban certain books from school libraries...

 

Oklahoma's high court will consider a reparations case from 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre survivors

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Supreme Court will consider a reparations case from survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre after a lower court judge dismissed it last month, giving hope to advocates for racial justice that government may make...

 

Oklahoma declines to discuss a settlement of Tulsa Race Massacre survivors' lawsuit

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma says it won't discuss a settlement with survivors who are seeking reparations for the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and have appealed a Tulsa County judge's dismissal of the case last month. The Oklahoma Supreme Court has...

 
 By SEAN MURPHY    Regional    August 9, 2023

Attorneys for 3 last-known survivors of 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre appeal dismissed reparations case

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Attorneys seeking reparations for three living survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre filed an appeal in the case with the Oklahoma Supreme Court and said a district court judge erred in dismissing the case last month. The...

 
 By SEAN MURPHY    Regional    July 30, 2023

Oklahoma parents, faith leaders and education group sue to stop US's first public religious school

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A group of parents, faith leaders and a public education nonprofit sued Monday to stop Oklahoma from establishing and funding what would be the nation's first religious public charter school. The lawsuit filed in Oklahoma...

 
 By SEAN MURPHY    Regional    July 30, 2023

Native American tribes in Oklahoma will keep tobacco deals, as lawmakers override governor's veto

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Native American tribes in Oklahoma will get to keep their existing agreements on how they share money from tobacco sales with the state. The Oklahoma House voted on Monday to override Gov. Kevin Stitt's veto of a bill that...

 
 By SEAN MURPHY    Regional    July 28, 2023

Charges dropped against 7 Oklahoma police officers in 3 separate fatal shootings

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The new prosecutor in Oklahoma's biggest county announced Friday she's dropping criminal charges against seven police officers in three separate fatal shootings from 2020, including one in which five officers were charged with...

 

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