Legislation Named for Fallen Tulsa Police Officer Sgt. Craig Johnson Becomes Law

Oklahoma Senate - April 1, 2022 6:11 am

OKLAHOMA CITY – There’s a new law on the books that strengthens Oklahoma’s accessory to murder statute.  Sen Darrell Weaver, R-Moore, and Rep. Ross Ford, R-Broken Arrow, are the principal authors of Senate Bill 6, the Sgt. Craig Johnson Act, named for a Tulsa police officer who was shot while conducting a traffic stop in 2020 and later died from his injuries. Gov. Kevin Stitt signed the bill into law on Wednesday.

Weaver said under the previous statute, the getaway driver could not be prosecuted for accessory to murderbecause they fled before Johnson died. Instead, the driver was prosecuted for accessory to a felony, which carries a lesser punishment.

“With the governor’s signature, we’ve tightened that law. I want to thank Governor Stitt and my fellow legislators for their support of SB 6,” Weaver said. “It was a privilege to carry and pass this legislation named for Sergeant Johnson in honor of his life, service and sacrifice.”

Under SB 6, a suspect may be charged with accessory to murder if the person knew or reasonably should have known that the act committed upon the victim could foreseeably result in their death.

“Sergeant Johnson gave his life in the line of duty, a sacrifice made by too many of our faithful law enforcement officials who dedicate their lives to serving others and preserving our safety,” Ford said. “I’m glad to see this bill make it across the finish line and have it signed into law. My hope is the stiffer penalty of the accessory to murder charge may serve as a deterrent, possibly saving lives.”

SB 6 had an emergency clause, meaning it took effect immediately upon the governor’s signature

 

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