A Local Reporter Standing at "Death's Yellow Door"

Feb 28, 2012

[Aired on Monday, February 27th.] On today's show, we speak with Kelly Kurt, a former AP reporter and freelance writer here in Tulsa whose article, "Death's Yellow Door," is the cover story in the current issue of This Land. In this thought-provoking piece, she reflects on her own journalistic experiences as a death-row reporter for the AP --- she's witnessed the execution of 16 different men by the State of Oklahoma --- while also explaining how exactly the ultimate punishment is carried out at "Big Mac" (which is how many refer the Oklahoma State Penitentiary, since it's located in the town of McAlester). As Kurt writes in this powerfully written and carefully balanced article: "What I have heard: a cop's killer begging his victim's family, 'Forgive me as the Lord has forgiven me;' a woman's weeping for her condemned son, whose crimes included the murder of his sister; the warden announcing, 'Let the execution begin;' victims' families clapping after a five-time killer is declared dead. What I have never heard: a condemned man cry." (You can visit [http://thislandpress.com/02/24/2012/deaths-yellow-door/] to read the piece online.) Also on today's ST, our commentator Collin Hinds can't understand why Governor Mary Fallin decided to turn down a $54 million health-insurance exchange grant from the federal government.