The Norman Transcript


January 27, 2013

Prosecution funds waning



Atwood  said another proposal would replace the language in current law to state that the $40 fee would be considered a “prosecution fee,” rather than a supervision fee,  so the DA’s could get it, regardless of what services they provide.

“Your district attorneys are in a crisis situation that is the worst these DA’s have ever seen,” said Atwood, who lobbies the Legislature for DA’s.

The district attorneys are seeking an overall $7 million boost in appropriations to the 27 district attorneys’ offices in the state.

A big reduction in “bounced check” cases, which generated high fees, has caused the DA’s to rely even more on the $40-a-month supervision fee. “That $40 supervision fee is what has saved the DA’s,” Atwood said.

House Judiciary Committee Mark McCullough, R-Sapulpa, asked Mashburn why the district attorneys are not appealing the criminal appeals court’s decision to the state Supreme Court.

Judge Stice and others have stated that rulings by the Court of Criminal Appeals cannot be appealed to a higher court.

The law states that decisions in criminal cases cannot be appealed to a higher court.  But it is not clear whether this question could be heard since it does not constitute an appeal in a specific criminal case.

Stice commented recently that the DA’s reliance on misdemeanor cases to generate fees for other prosecutions has been “the elephant in the room.”  But he said the criminal appeals court has already addressed that question, and their ruling stands.

McCullough told the district attorneys that at this point, the lawmakers are only listening. Actual legislation will be considered during the upcoming session beginning the first week in February.

Rex Duncan, district attorney from Pawhuska, said that currently, his office is short two lawyers, two secretaries and an investigator.

“I cannot do anything to generate revenue,” he said.

Duncan, a Republican, served several years in the state House of Representatives.

“I wish I had known then what I know now,” he said.

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Braddy_1. Norman North teen struck by freight train recovering with therapy

    A Norman North teen struck by a freight train in May is on the road to recovery and ready to get back to school after spending most of his summer in a hospital. Harrison Braddy, 16, has been staying busy with rehab and physical therapy ...

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Storm victims face loan dilemma

    The tornadoes, flooding and hail that struck Oklahoma last year left hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage, causing many home and business owners to seek help in the form of low-interest federal loans....

    July 27, 2014

  • Teen critical after rescue

    A 17-year-old Yukon male was transported to the hospital Sunday after a near drowning incident at Lake Thunderbird in the Party Cove area. Emergency crews responded to the lake after a report of a possible drowning around 5:30 p.m. ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Migrant kids go to Mass

    The services have all the elements of a typical Sunday Mass — singing, scripture, a sermon, prayers, communion and worship....

    July 27, 2014

  • Injury accident reported

    Transcript Staff Emergency crews responded to an injury accident around 10:20 p.m. Sunday in the 1000 block of 80th Avenue Southeast where there were reports of someone pinned. Several reports indicated a vehicle struck a tree causing one ...

    July 28, 2014

  • Photo Slideshow: James Garner through the years

    Photos of James Garner...

    July 27, 2014

  • Prisons expand reach to bring training to more officers

    McALESTER — Joshua Drake once was offered the chance to be a corrections officer but turned it down because he didn’t want to leave his wife and aging parents for six weeks to train hundreds of miles away in El Reno....

    July 27, 2014

  • SWIMMER Aquatic center could serve many community needs

    Michael Yoch could have been the kid with asthma sitting on the sidelines — could have been, but wasn’t. Michael had trouble running because of his asthma, which made it difficult to play soccer and many other sports his friends loved. ...

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Director leaves decade of memories

    Maureen Dolan is giving up the post as director of St. Joseph’s Early Childhood Development Center, fondly called “St. Joe’s” by the many parents whose pre-school children have spent their weekdays under her care over the past 10 years....

    July 27, 2014

  • Health officials prepare for flu

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Following a flu season in which a record number of Oklahomans died as a result of the virus, state and county health officials say educating the public and general common sense are vital to reducing both the death rate and ...

    July 27, 2014