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Andy Lester Appointed as Co-Chair in Groundbreaking Bipartisan Commission

Spencer Fane Partner Andy Lester was recently appointed to serve as one of three co-chairs for the newly formed Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission.

In this position, Lester will work alongside a variety of experts in the fields of government, law, business and education, including Brad Henry, former Governor, and Reta Strubhar, former judge on the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals and Assistant District Attorney of Canadian County.

The purpose of the commission is to conduct bipartisan research on the constitutionality of the death penalty process in Oklahoma. While similar groups have appeared on the national level, this is the first state-level commission to address this issue in U.S. history. With the staffing and logistical assistance of The Constitution Project, the commission plans to perform this research and publish an in-depth report by the beginning of 2017.

In an interview conducted by the Oklahoman, Lester commented: “I don’t know whether this group of people will come to an agreement about the death penalty and whether we should have it or not, but what we can do is hopefully provide some guidance to whether Oklahoma’s process is being handled in a constitutionally proper way.”

Lester concentrates his practice in litigation and dispute resolution. He represents and advises clients in constitutional, employment, local government, civil rights and general business litigation. Lester regularly works with clients on civil disputes, aligning his clients’ interests with those of the local, state and national government. Lester previously served on President Ronald Reagan’s Transition Team for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and served as Magistrate Judge for the Western District of Oklahoma.

To read more about the commission, click here.