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Jerald Harjo, 1992

Execution Protests in OKC

Tuesday, July 17

    4:30 p.m. in front of the Attorney General's office at 4545 N. Lincoln
    5:00 - 6:00 p.m. in front of the Governorís Mansion followed by a vigil starting at 8:30 p.m.

'Moral certainty' elusive in Harjo case

Oklahomans opposed to the death penalty will be protesting the scheduled execution of Jerald Harjo on Tuesday evening. Harjo, a Seminole Native American of questionable mental capacity, was sentenced to die by lethal injection for the 1988 murder of Ruth Porter. Mrs. Porter's death was tragic and violent.

Mrs. Porter awoke when Harjo, who was drunk, was trying to steal car keys from her bedroom. He panicked and strangled her to death. He was sentenced to die under Oklahoma's "heinous, atrocious, and cruel" aggravator. This aggravator, we believe, is overused in Oklahoma capital cases.

Governor Frank Keating has recently spoken of the need for "moral certainty" in imposing the death penalty. We believe that there is no such certainty possible in the context of capital punishment, which is inherently immoral. We call on our state officials to find more effective measures against crime than the extremism of killing prisoners. We are in grief at the senseless violence of murder, and of executions.

CONTACT: Jim Fowler (405) 943-3808

Updated: 18 July 2001 Website by