Vicki Behenna, executive director of the Oklahoma Innocence Project and a former federal prosecutor, recently launched a campaign for Oklahoma County district attorney.
She said she had consulted with criminal justice reform experts before deciding to run.
“I never thought I would stand for public office,” she said, “but the District Attorney’s Office impacts thousands of Oklahoma families every year, both victims and accused, and I intend to be a voice for justice.”
The candidate served for more than 25 years as an assistant United States attorney in the local U.S. Attorney’s Office and was selected for the prosecution team against Timothy McVeigh in the Murrah Federal Building bombing trial while with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, he prosecuted several cases against Republican and Democratic elected public officials, a news release said.
“My passion as a prosecutor always led me to seek justice for victims, but my time as a defense attorney and with the Innocence Project has shown me that, in a system based on human judgment, you will also have cases decided on human error,” the candidate said.
“My own family has fallen victim to human error and misconduct, but we’ve also found resolution within the justice system,” she noted.
“My experiences will guide my leadership.”
In 2015, she was named executive director of the Oklahoma Innocence Project, which she described as “an organization dedicated to identifying and remedying cases of wrongful convictions.”
Oklahoma City University law students work with attorneys and the Oklahoma Innocence Project to pursue cases with which there is credible evidence of actual innocence, the news release pointed out.
“I accept my position with the agency as an office with which challenges will arise daily….even hourly,” the prosecuting attorney candidate remarked, “but what I won’t accept is to allow those challenges to stand in the way of new opportunities to examine new how we guide our criminal justice system to reach its ultimate goal,” the candidate said.
The goal of the criminal justice system as “justice for all involved.”
The candidate is a partner with the law firm Behenna, Goerke, Krahl & Meyer.