Former Governor Brad Henry and Former U.S. Magistrate Judge Andy Lester, co-Chairs of the Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission, Call for Halt to Executions

Former Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry and former U.S. Magistrate Judge Andy Lester, who co-chaired the bipartisan Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission, join DPIC executive director Robert Dunham in the August 2022 Discussions With DPIC podcast. Governor Henry, a Democrat, and Judge Lester, a Republican, discuss the findings of the commission’s review that led them to call for a halt to the state’s planned executions of 25 prisoners, at least until significant reforms have been adopted.

“The most critical recommendation that we made,” Governor Henry said, “was that unless and until significant reforms occur in the entire death penalty process, we should not be executing people in Oklahoma. … [I]f we’re going to have the death penalty in Oklahoma, my goodness, it ought to be done right.” Lester strongly agrees. “The system, if we don’t take up the bulk of these recommendations, is broken,” he says. “And we need to fix the system before moving forward.”