Eyewitness Identification Reform

In 2019, Oklahoma passed a law requiring all law enforcement agencies in the state to adopt a detailed written policy on eyewitness identification procedures that includes, at minimum: 1) blind/blinded administration of lineups/photo arrays, 2) instructions to the eyewitness that the perpetrator may or may not be present, 3) selecting fillers that generally match the eyewitness description of the perpetrator and do not make the suspect noticeably stand out, 4) eliciting and documenting an eyewitness confidence statement after an identification is made, 5) a protocol guiding the use of show-ups procedures, including that show-ups should only be used when a suspect is detained within a reasonably short time frame following the offense, 6) a protocol for documenting eyewitness identification procedures. Effective: November 2019.

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Recording of Interrogations

In 2019, Oklahoma passed a law that requires all law enforcement agencies in the state to adopt written policies requiring electronic recording of all custodial interrogations for homicide and rape cases. Effective: November 2019.

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Post Conviction DNA

Testing Oklahoma passed a post-conviction DNA testing law May 24, 2013, making it the 50th state to do so. Effective: 2013.

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Evidence Preservation

State statute requires that criminal justice agencies retain and automatically preserve biological evidence from violent felony convictions for the length of incarceration of an individual. Effective: 2001.

Oklahoma's statute meets the best practices standards outlined by the NIST Technical Working Group on Biological Evidence Preservation.

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Exoneree Compensation

A wrongfully convicted person is entitled to receive $175,000 for the entirety of his wrongful incarceration as long as he did not plead guilty and was imprisoned solely as a result of the wrongful conviction. Effective: 1978; Amended most recently: 2003.

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In-Custody Informants

In Dodd v. State (2000), the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that before jailhouse informant testimony is deemed admissible at trial, prosecutors must disclose certain information to the defense at least ten days before trial, such as: the informant’s criminal history, any benefit that has been or may be offered in exchange for their testimony, any other cases in which the informant testified or offered statements, and any benefits the informant received in those cases. In addition, a jury instruction must be given when jailhouse informant witness testimony is going to be used at trial. The instruction directs jurors to assess the jailhouse informant’s testimony with greater scrutiny and details reliability factors that jurors should consider, including: benefits offered or expected in exchange for testimony, criminal history, other cases in which the jailhouse informant testified in exchange for benefits, and whether the jailhouse informant has recanted or changed his/her statements. Effective: 2000.

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