SQ 776: State Question focuses on Oklahoma constitutional amendment on the death penalty, executions
11:05 AM, Oct 15, 2016
12:11 PM, Oct 18, 2016
Should the state's constitution be amended to affirm Oklahoma's right to perform executions?
That is what Oklahomans must decide when they vote on State Question 776.
The measure adds Section 9A of Article 2 to the state's Constitution which would establish mandates relating to the death penalty and methods of executions. If 776 is passed, it will:
Allow the Legislature to designate any method of execution not prohibited by the United States Constitution.
Prohibit death sentences from being reduced because a method of execution is ruled to be invalid.
When an execution method is declared invalid, the death penalty imposed shall remain in force until it can be carried out using any valid execution method.
The death penalty under Oklahoma law will not be deemed to be or constitute the infliction of cruel or unusual punishment under Oklahoma’s Constitution, nor to contravene any provision of the Oklahoma Constitution.
According to Oklahoma Policy Institute, supporters say SQ 776 will protect the state's ability to carry out the death penalty, and that the state should be able to find a workable method of execution instead of ending executions.
Opponents of 776 say death penalty opponents will likely challenge the measure costing the state more money and resources; specifying the death penalty is not cruel and unusual punishment attempts to eliminate checks and balances within the courts; and a U.S. Supreme Court decision that the death penalty violates the U.S. Constitution would override Oklahoma's Constitution.