POSTED ON OCTOBER 17, 2012:
Tulsa County Prosecutor Honored For Work Handling Domestic Violence Cases. Last year, there were 1,298 counts of misdemeanor domestic violence counts filed by Tulsa County prosecutors.
Meredith Stanton often handles these complex cases as a prosecutor with the Tulsa County District Attorney's Office.
This month, Stanton received the 2012 Award for Excellence in Action Against Domestic Violence, the only prosecutor in the state to receive the honor. The award is given out by the Oklahoma District Attorneys Council, the Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, and the Office of the Attorney General, according to a newsletter published by Tulsa County District Attorney's Office.
"Last year in Oklahoma, there were more than 24,000 domestic violence calls to law enforcement. That is unacceptable," Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt said in a statement.
In the county newsletter, Stanton spoke about how victims often are reluctant to follow through with a case -- but that it's the state's decision to prosecute domestic violence crimes.
"Victims often call and say they want to dismiss a domestic violence case," Stanton was quoted as saying in the newsletter. "I tell victims that we consider their input, but it is the state's case and the victim can't dismiss it. Sometimes, just saying that helps them. They feel guilty and say 'I don't want to be the one to put him in jail.'"
The district attorney's office states that the goal of prosecutors is often to negotiate a guilty plea resulting in a deferred or suspended sentence, then mandate completion of a Batterers Intervention Program. In Oklahoma, these programs are state-certified courses involving a year of intensive counseling.
"Usually we don't see them again. If we do, they have a predicate conviction and we can now charge them with a felony and seek a prison term," Stanton said, according to the newsletter.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Cherokee Art Market Selects Best of Show. At the 7th annual Cherokee Art Market, which took place Oct. 13-14 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, 777 W. Cherokee St., Owasso, Orlando Dugi and Kenneth Williams were honored with Best of Show for their entry, "Looking Forward, Looking Back -- Mirror Bag," a beadwork/quillwork work. The awards reception, held Oct. 12, honored all prizewinners with $75,000 overall across 20 categories.
"The Cherokee Art Market continues to offer one of the largest prize purses of any Native American art show in the country," said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker in a release. "It attracts the country's most talented Native American artists and thousands of art lovers who can catch a glimpse of the finest Native art."
The Cherokee Art Market featured more than 130 Native American artists from more than 45 tribes across the U.S., displaying beadwork, pottery, painting, basketry, sculptures and textiles.
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