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Oklahoma senator pledges to abolish state's death penalty

In observance of a worldwide movement Wednesday to end executions, the Oklahoma Conference of Churches and Sen. Constance Johnson pledged to end the death penalty.
BY MEGAN ROLLAND Modified: October 10, 2012 at 10:04 pm •  Published: October 11, 2012

To date 183 individuals have been executed in Oklahoma, most recently Michael E. Hooper was killed using lethal injection in August. Hooper, 39, was convicted of shooting his girlfriend and her two children to death in 1993.

There were no executions in Oklahoma between 1966 and 1990. The current death penalty law was enacted in 1977 by lawmakers.

New proposal planned

Johnson said she will be proposing legislation to abolish the death penalty in Oklahoma next session. This is not the first time she has authored an abolition bill, but she said her proposed legislation has never even been heard on the floor or even granted a hearing in committee.

Advocates of abolishing the death penalty Wednesday also discussed starting a petition drive to get a sense of where Oklahomans stand on the issue and to work toward getting a question on the ballot.