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Limits on Material Witness Law - Article in OBJ

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Oklahoma's Material Witness Law: Time for Change By Karen YoungbloodFrom the Oklahoma Bar Journal - April 14, 2007

On a cold day in January 1923, Joe Riddle was detained in the ChoctawCounty jail in Oklahoma where he remained until the Oklahoma Court ofCriminal Appeals ordered his release the following October.1 Nevercharged with a criminal act, Riddle's stay in the county jail cameabout because he witnessed Bill Johnson's unlawful sale ofintoxicating liquor. Riddle probably did not realize it at the time,but he was one of Oklahoma's more fortunate material witnesses. Oncehis case went to the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, the attorneygeneral sided with Riddle and agreed his detention was unlawfulbecause Johnson's liquor violation was not a felony.

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