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After botched executions Oklahomans want to replace death penalty with restitution

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After a series of highly publicized botched executions that garnered national attention, a new poll reveals that a majority of Oklahomans want to rid the state of the death penalty in exchange for restitution.

When the state was humiliated for their inability to perform an execution, a grand jury was announced that found corrections officials were to blame for the failures. Now, according to NewsOK, more than three-quarters of Oklahomans polled said that they still believed in capital punishment, but 53 percent would rather do away with it for something else. Instead, they’d prefer life without the possibility of parole, a forfeiture of owned property and mandatory restitution to victims’ families for the rest of their lives.

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Forfeiture of property might be difficult given that property can often belong to the family of those convicted, punishing spouses and children. Restitution similarly could cause problems since any funds earned from prison jobs go back into the prison.

Ronald Stromberg, an 84-year-old Evangelical Christian was polled by the survey and supports a new penalty because it “saves us from violating the commandment against taking a man’s life,” he said.

The poll showed higher support for the plan among Democrats and Independents at 58 and 57 percent respectively. About 48 percent of Republicans like the idea and 41 percent are against.

Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center told NewsOK that the poll reveals support for the death penalty isn’t as strong as many lawmakers believe it is.

“It may be a mile wide but only a couple inches deep,” he said. “When other alternatives are offered, those alternatives are much more acceptable to the public than the death penalty.”

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Trump ignored aides’ advice before first Ukraine call — and it destroyed his impeachment defense: report

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President Donald Trump has repeatedly referred to himself as his own top advisor and a political "genius." But his interactions with Ukraine at the heart of the impeachment inquiry could demonstrate the limitations of such an approach to governing.

Friday's bombshell, behind-closed-door testimony from David Holmes has made White House aides unhappy, but the bad news for the administration did not stop there.

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‘Aides to the president are not happy’ Gordon Sondland held the phone up in restaurant: CNN’s Jim Acosta

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CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta reported on Friday that White House aides are unhappy with Ambassador Gordon Sondland for holding up a call with Trump in a restaurant for multiple witnesses to listen.

The details were revealed in bombshell closed-door testimony before Congress on Friday.

Acosta noted the administration was trying to downplay the significance of the call.

"But I will tell you, that the aides of the president are not happy that Gordon Sondland apparently held the phone up so other aides could hear what was going on and the words of the source familiar with the conversations inside the White House, the president speaks loudly, Sondland should know that," Acosta reported.

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David Holmes’ opening statement to Congress directly implicated Donald Trump: report

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Congress will hear first-hand testimony of President Donald Trump's involvement in the Ukraine scandal.

"David Holmes, the state department aide who overheard President Donald Trump's conversation with the US ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, said that Sondland told Trump that the Ukranian President would do 'anything you ask him to,' and that he confirmed the Ukrainians were going to 'do the investigation,'" CNN reported Friday.

""Sondland told Trump that (Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zelensky 'loves your ass,'" Holmes testified. "I then heard President Trump ask, 'So, he's gonna do the investigation?' Ambassador Sondland replied that 'he's gonna do it,' adding that President Zelensky will do 'anything you ask him to.'"

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