Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, today filed Senate Bill 1120.
Under Dahm’s legislation, if a person is charged with murder but is found not guilty due to justifiable homicide, the state would have to reimburse the defendant for all reasonable costs, including loss of wages, legal fees incurred, and other expenses involved in their defense.
Dahm says this bill was inspired by the recent trial of Kyle Rittenhouse.
Rittenhouse was recently acquitted of all charges in the deaths of two men and the wounding of a third during a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin in 2020. Rittenhouse had claimed self-defense in the shootings.
“Kyle Rittenhouse should never have been charged. The video evidence from early on showed it was lawful self-defense,” Dahm said. “It is our duty to protect the rights of the people we represent, and the right to self-defense is paramount. This bill will ensure that what happened to Kyle Rittenhouse cannot happen to the people of Oklahoma.”
SB 1120 says that in order to support a claim of malicious prosecution, the claimant must establish that the prosecution was instituted or instigated by the prosecutor and was without probable cause; that the prosecution had legally and finally been terminated in favor of the claimant; and the claimant sustained injury as a result of the criminal prosecution.
Dahm says malice may be established if the motive for the prosecution was something other than a desire to bring an offender to justice, or that it was one with ill will or hatred, or willfully done in a wanton or oppressive manner and in conscious disregard of the claimant’s rights.
Under the legislation, a prosecutor may be held personally liable to a claimant if malicious prosecution is established.
KFOR has sent this proposal to a metro District Attorney for possible comment and have not heard back at this time.