Friday, January 15, 2010

Wrongful Convictions in Oklahoma

We met Senator Connie Johnson in early 2008 on a trip to the State Capitol as we passed out informational packets about Raye Dawn's wrongful conviction. We ran into the Senator again when we joined the Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty here in Oklahoma. She's a passionate woman who cares about wrongful convictions in our state and she marched with us in the summer of 2009 in our state's freedom march, a concept that a wonderful friend in a state just to the north and I created and then my friend along with Sherri Heath and myself enlisted 16 to 20 states to march with us -

Senator Johnson has now introduced a bill against wrongful convictions to create the Oklahoma Commission on Wrongful Convictions. It's part of the Senator's plan to end the death penalty in our state within the next four years, something many of us have been praying for considering the number of proven wrongful convictions; ten have been exonerated from death row.

Oklahoma currently has no innocent project and has relied on the Midwestern Innocence Project for all of our wrongful conviction cases. Senator Johnson's bill introduction is the first of many steps that will make some positive changes in our state.

To find out more about wrongful convictions, you can visit This is a cause that has become near and dear to my heart as I've gotten to know families from every part of the United States who are suffering with their loved ones who they believe are wrongfully convicted, just as Raye Dawn Smith.


  1. Thank you for this Jody... It is really important information. TOo many wrongful convictions and not enough people who can volunteer their expertise to free them.
    It is heartbreaking indeed.

  2. You're welcome, Wendy, and yes it is heartbreaking. These families need hope and they need help. They do not need people making up lies or spreading hate for people who are incarcerated. We need more people like you in the world.

  3. oh my goss thank you so much. i have been trying to find a way to help raye and many others like her and you found a way. thank you, thank you, thank you. jody you are going to help alot of more people in your life. im glad to be a friend of your(even though we havent known eachother for years)

  4. Thank you, Danielle. We have a lot of things planned for the near future in which we will need help so it will be great to have you on board. You are a wonderful friend to Raye and I'm happy to also have you as my friend. Don't let the haters get to you.