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Amendment would keep local hate crime files in Oklahoma

BY JULIE BISBEE Published: March 11, 2010

/> Russell said his bill is meant to protect speech of all kinds.

"We just don’t want the pendulum to swing too far the other way,” he said. "This protects people to do or say whatever they want, as long as it complies with local ordinances.”

Russell said hate crimes should be prosecuted by local officials and not the federal government.

He said the language is still being studied, but does not prevent local law enforcement from requesting help.

Sen. John Sparks, D-Norman, said the measure could make it difficult for district attorneys to comply.

"This is putting district attorneys in a position to break the law,” Sparks said. "They could be guilty of obstruction of justice if the federal government requests evidence and they don’t turn it over. This language has all sorts of ramifications.”