Bill allows release of terminally ill prisoners

Wednesday, May 2nd 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ The Oklahoma Senate voted 38-3 on Tuesday to allow the Department of Corrections to release terminally ill prisoners.

The action came after veteran state Sen. Gene Stipe, D-McAlester, criticized the medical attention being given seriously ill prisoners.

Stipe said inmates are being allowed to ``die in their cells.''

A spokesman for the corrections agency denied the senator's charge, saying the state prison's medical program had recently been approved by a federal judge.

Stipe said a bill by Sen. Herb Rozell, D-Tahlequah, will allow terminally ill inmates to go home to die or go to veterans' facilities or nursing homes.

Otherwise, their release would be delayed because of the time required to go through the parole process.