Does an Expungement Restore My Gun Rights?
Once you have been convicted of a felony, you lose your right to own a gun. But, what exactly are the rules for former felons and guns? Can an expungement or a pardon restore your rights?
Kyle Rittenhouse is the best evidence yet that America’s bail system is busted
Kyle Rittenhouse doesn’t regret taking an AR-15 rifle to an emotionally charged protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, earlier this year. The teen reportedly used his coronavirus relief check to purchase the firearm.
How to Get a Pardon In Oklahoma
In Oklahoma, many people confuse a pardon with an expungement, but the two processes are distinctly different. Here’s what you need to know if you want to clear your record and restore your rights.
A Former Prosecutor Breaks Down the Julius Jones Case
Julius Jones has spent nearly 20 years on death row for a crime he says he did not commit. As the date of his execution approached, Jones’s case became a focal point for the debate about the death penalty and racial justice, with celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Baker Mayfield, and others advocating for clemency.
DUI Expungement in Oklahoma: Everything You Need To know
A DUI can complicate many parts of your life, including your ability to get a job or an apartment. If you have a DUI arrest or conviction that is causing you problems, an expungement may be the answer.
Exactly what crimes are considered violent? Here's the Definitive list of Violent Crimes in Oklahoma
On November 1, 2021 Oklahoma’s new violent crime list will go into effect. If you are considering an expungement, it is important to know if your conviction is for a violent crime. If your conviction isn’t on the list of violent crimes, you may qualify for an expungement.
Double Standard: Past Marijuana Possession Convictions still Haunt Thousands of Oklahomans
With a medical marijuana license, you can legally possess up to three ounces of marijuana and face no trouble from police.
8 Reasons to Make Expunging Your Oklahoma Criminal Record a Priority This Year
Between the pandemic and economic woes, I think we can all agree that 2020 was an awful year. 2021 is an opportunity for all of us to start fresh and refocus on the things that matter most.
Should Felons Be Able to Vote?
Billionaire businessman and former presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg drew the issue of voting rights into sharp focus this election season. The one-time mayor of New York City shelled out $16 million of his personal fortune to pay the court fees and fines of former felons in Florida.
Oklahoma lawmaker Introduces ‘anti-riot’ law in response to last year’s Black Lives Matter protests
A Republican State lawmaker from Norman has submitted a new bill ahead of Oklahoma’s upcoming legislative session that would toughen penalties for people who engage in “rioting.”
How ‘Toke-lahoma’ became the hottest market for weed in America
Chip Baker has been an outlaw pot grower since before he could drive. He began growing marijuana illegally in Georgia at the tender age of 13. From there, Baker embarked on a decades-long illicit career cultivating cannabis.
This app developer learned coding in prison and created an alternative to calling the police
At any given time in Oklahoma, there are about 3,000 men and women on parole.
Oklahoma smoked enough pot in one year to pay for 800 teachers
Tax dollars generated from Oklahoma’s budding cannabis industry are exploding even beyond the expectations of legalization supporters.
Apple promises that iPhones are safe from snooping. Police in Oklahoma have tools for breaking into them anyway.
When attendees arrived at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, they were greeted with an ad stretching across the face of a SpringHill Suites hotel that stood 24 floors high.
The Marijuana Breathalyzer: Coming To A Police Department Near You
Oklahoma’s approach to drug enforcement has evolved in recent years, most notably when voters legalized medical marijuana in 2018. But the changing laws have created a major challenge for police departments: How do you enforce existing laws that prohibit “drugged” driving when medical marijuana is legal?
Amy Coney Barrett, Originalism, and the Supreme Court
It’s nearly impossible to imagine seeing an arrest take place on TV without the familiar words: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you.”
You Should Vote Yes on State Question 805
A mom was sentenced to 15 years in prison for stealing necessities and toys from a Walmart. A military veteran was sentenced to 17 years for pawning a stolen laptop. A man served 33 years in prison for $400 worth of bad checks.
Our lying eyes: eyewitness testimony is one of the least reliable types of evidence
Thomas Webb III still doesn’t like to discuss the horrors he experienced behind the bars of an Oklahoma prison. Sentenced to 60 years for rape in 1983, he arrived to prison at the bottom of the food chain.
Ballot measure to reform prison sentences in Oklahoma gets endorsement from high-profile Avengers star
Oklahoma’s upcoming ballot measure - State Question 805 - would end a long-held practice in Oklahoma of enhancing prison sentences where a person has been previously convicted of the same or similar crimes. The measure has received widespread support, including from some unlikely places.
I was arrested when I was in Law School. It shaped my entire legal career.
Like most of my clients, I’ve been arrested. It was a scary, confusing, unjust experience that shaped my legal career. Here is my story.
High-profile criminal justice reform advocate Alice Marie Johnson receives pardon
The life of Alice Marie Johnson seems every bit like a Hollywood movie. But to her, the facts of her life leading up to the moment she was pardoned in August are all too real.
Seeking A Pardon: One Man's Journey To Get His Life Back
For the last three decades, Jim* has been racked with a singular kind of anxiety known only to ex-felons.
How Oklahoma finally shed its reputation as the prison capital of the world
The appalling statistics are familiar to advocates of criminal justice reform. Oklahoma incarcerated a greater percentage of its population than anywhere else on earth - including dictatorships and failed states.
Here’s what Oklahoma needs to know about the coming cannabis vote in Congress
Lawmakers in Washington are for the first time considering what was once unthinkable - making marijuana legal nationwide.
“The Innocent Man,” Revelation, and Reform
John Grisham is one of the best-selling authors of all time, having published over 40 suspense novels and legal thrillers. Only one of his bestselling books, however, is a true story.
How your protest arrest can become a lifelong criminal record -- and what to do about it
An estimated 23 million people across the United States have hit the streets for protests reacting to the police killing of 46-year-old George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in the spring of 2020.
Now is the time to take action on your conviction
Warren Rawls didn’t measure the time in weeks or months that remained in his Oklahoma prison sentence for nonviolent drug possession. He counted time in days.
The federal First Step Act and why reform is so hard
One of the most surprisingly positive and bipartisan moments of the Donald Trump Presidency came in 2018 when he signed the federal First Step Act. Passage of the Act was praised by activists, advocates, and lawmakers across the political spectrum in Washington.
Athletes, celebrities call on Oklahoma governor to commute Julius Jones death sentence
A controversial death penalty case in Oklahoma is prompting fiery debate over criminal justice reform and systemic racism.
Former prison inmates are shedding the stigma and running for public office
Tarra Simmons could hardly believe how far she’d come. The same prosecutor’s office in Kitsap County, Washington that once convicted her of drug offenses and sent her to prison had just endorsed her candidacy for the state legislature. In November, she will be a contender for Washington’s district 23 - a far cry from the prison yard at Mission Creek Correctional where she served a 30 month sentence.
Behind Closed Doors: Domestic Violence on the Rise During COVID
Communities around the nation and in Oklahoma are seeing increased domestic violence reports
What does a criminal record mean for job applications in Oklahoma?
“Have you ever been convicted of a crime?”
McGirt V. Oklahoma: US Supreme Court decision leaves many questions unanswered
The US Supreme Court handed down a major decision yesterday in McGirt v. Oklahoma that could fundamentally alter the criminal justice system in eastern Oklahoma. The case is based on a question of jurisdiction: Did the State of Oklahoma have the right to prosecute a major crime committed by a tribal member if the crime was committed on a reservation? To decide, justices had to determine if the area was still legally a reservation of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.
[Infographic] Can I get my record expunged? Your 90 second guide.
Expungement can help restore critical job, education, and civic options for people with a criminal conviction who want to put it behind them.
Feds walk back from strict limits on convicts accessing stimulus funds
New changes from the SBA allow some small business owners with criminal records to seek COVID-related stimulus funds.
“The Innocent Man” inspires rare new law In Oklahoma targeting informants who fabricate testimony
Many Oklahomans are familiar with the horrific 1980’s era murders of Ada residents Denise Haraway and Debbie Carter. The shocking brutality of the crimes and the relative tranquility of the small town they occurred in created a media sensation, and immense pressure to find the killers.
North Carolina joins Oklahoma and other states in expanding expungement laws
Several states have automated the expungement process while Oklahoma has opted for a manual approach.
Oklahoma is making expungement of a past criminal record more accessible than ever. Why hasn’t Washington followed suit and passed the REDEEM Act?
Every convict serves two sentences. The first is the days, weeks, months, and years assigned to prison, probation, and parole. The second sentence served is a lifetime of stigma for having been convicted of a crime.
Expungement Helps Sex Trafficking Victims Reclaim Their Lives
For many, hope for a new life begins with expungement.
Ex-con business owners denied COVID relief despite efforts to make record expungement easier
Past convictions are standing in the way of critical pandemic aid to small businesses
Job Licensing is an Impermeable Barrier to Some Former Felons
From interior designer to landscape architect, felons face job licensing restrictions
A Hidden History Of Expungement
Former Oklahoma Senator David Boren once led a campaign to seal FBI records
An Update On COVID-19
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Old crimes in the new era of Oklahoma reform
Many could already apply to have their criminal records expunged without knowing it
Oklahoma lost the War on Drugs, and the damage is still being done
Why it failed, what has changed, and what comes next for Oklahoma convicts and their families.
Expunge A Misdemeanor In Oklahoma
Even a misdemeanor conviction can cause you serious problem long after your conviction. If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor that has led to issues with jobs, housing, or school, an expungement may be the answer.
Bill Could Free Hundreds Of Inmates
House Bill 1269 would require the re-sentencing of drug offenders convicted before State Question 780 went into effect on July 1, 2017. The bill would apply to inmates whose crimes were reclassified from felonies to misdemeanors by the referendum. There are around 1,300 Oklahomans currently incarcerated for simple drug possession.
Oklahoma’s Incarceration Rate is Now the Highest in the World
When I worked as a prosecutor, my approach for non-violent defendants was rehabilitation, not incarceration. Incarceration does not rehabilitate a person who has a drug problem and once a person who is incarcerated for a drug-related/induced offense is released from prison, they don’t have the tools necessary to get meaningful employment or reintegrate into society.
Supreme Court Significantly Limits Civil Forfeiture In Unanimous Decision
The US Supreme Court has applied the 8th Amendment to states and prohibits excessive fines and restricts civil forfeitures: