Oklahoma County DA Prater has been well-served by the courage of his convictions

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: June 20, 2012
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HE hasn't yet attained Teflon Man status, but David Prater has a way of keeping bad things from sticking to him.

The Oklahoma County district attorney has the courage of his convictions. Prater's success, like that of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, shows that respect sticks to courageous politicians just as derision sticks to the cowardly.

In his new book “Cowards,” Glenn Beck drumbeats the theme that “the truth has no agenda.” Agenda-driven politicians, such as the Republicans who gave Oklahoma House Speaker Kris Steele fits throughout his all-too-short administration, milk votes and headlines but rarely advance the public good.

Prater is a Democrat in a county that favors Republicans. Walker and New Jersey's Chris Christie are Republicans in states that favor Democrats. What these men have in common is the courage of their convictions, something voters seem to like in the increasingly rare instances where they have a choice in the matter. We could add U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, to this list of politicians who do the right thing because it's the right thing rather than because it's the Right thing.

Prater's emerging Teflon Man status was amplified last week when state grand jurors cleared him of any wrongdoing involving a 2006 victory party, the only one Prater has had because in 2010 no one filed to run against him. This was despite the fact that Prater had chosen to prosecute, for first-degree murder, a man who executed a youth in the act of robbing the pharmacy where the shooter worked.

Two months ago, Prater showed courage in dismissing two assistant district attorneys for allegedly withholding evidence that proved helpful to a man convicted of first-degree murder. The firings led to a reversal of the conviction; a new trial will be held. Prater's action drew the wrath of the victim's family, but their differences have been ironed out.


by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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