BY World's Editorials Writers
Saturday, February 09, 2013
2/09/13 at 7:06 AM
A two-month delay in paperwork needed to issue a warrant on a parole violation for a Tulsa quadruple homicide suspect seems excessive but such delays likely are not unusual.
Unfortunately, Oklahoma has a system that relies largely on paper records that are mailed between offices. Getting a more modern electronic records system in place should be a high priority.
Cedric Poore and his brother James Stanford Poore have been arrested in the Jan. 7 shooting deaths of four women at the Fairmont Terrace apartment complex at 61st Street and Peoria Avenue. Cedric Poore was arrested Jan. 14 for violating terms of his parole. Poore was convicted of a misdemeanor in Tulsa County District Court on Oct. 8. That paperwork, according to a Friday story by Tulsa World writer Cary Aspinwall, took a long path from Tulsa to Oklahoma City and back through the U.S. mail.
The warrant to revoke his parole and send him back to prison was issued on Dec. 28. Probation and parole officers had written a report requesting a warrant to revoke his parole shortly after the October misdemeanor conviction. A process of revisions and approvals, however, meant the paper records were not finalized and mailed until Dec. 11.
Two weeks after the warrant was returned by mail in mid-January Poore was arrested and officials prepared to return him to the DOC from the Tulsa Jail.
As pointed out by DOC spokesman Jerry Massie, delays are a combination of factors. DOC deals with a huge volume of records using a paper system. An electronic system would be faster but it would be expensive to implement. DOC has a hard time finding enough money to provide room and board for 25,000 inmates.
If the public believes the current system is threatening public safety - which it may well be - then it needs to be prepared to pay for an electronic system. Time to get out the checkbook?