Jay Paul Gumm
Senate District 6
Atoka, Bryan, Coal, Johnston and Marshall Counties
For Immediate Release: January 31, 2006
MAKING A POINT – Oklahoma State Senator Jay Paul
Gumm makes a point during his appearance on Fox News Channel’s
nationally broadcast “The Big Story Primetime”
Saturday evening. Gumm, D-Durant, was invited on the show
to talk about his bill to make repeat child molesters
subject to the death penalty or life without parole. The
appearance capped a week of statewide and national interviews
on the bill in anticipation of the 2006 session of the
Senator Gumm Fights for Children on National Broadcast
An Oklahoma state senator’s fight to
enact harsher penalties for repeat child molesters came
to a top-rated national cable news network Saturday evening.
Paul Gumm appeared on the Jan. 28 edition of “The
Big Story Primetime”, broadcast nationally on the
Fox News Channel. Gumm, D-Durant, was invited to appear
to discuss Senate Bill 1747, a measure he wrote that would
make repeat child molesters eligible for the death penalty
or life without parole.
Connected by satellite from Fox’s Dallas
bureau, Gumm told show host Bret Baier that he wrote the
bill because of state government’s responsibility
to protect children.
“One of the greatest responsibilities
any state government has is to make sure that state is safe
for its children,” said Gumm, who is also a Senate
assistant majority leader. “We need to separate these
people (child molesters) from society; they need to be eligible
for the death penalty or life without parole.”
Gumm noted the initial proposal for the bill
came from one of his constituents who expressed concern
about the number of child molestations reported on the news.
Taking the opposing view on the program was
Rob Longo, a sex abuse counselor who began his comments
by stating his opposition to the death penalty. He then
suggested that the victims of child molesters might be hesitant
to tell someone about the abuse because of guilt they might
feel about their attacker possibly getting the death penalty.
When pressed by Baier, Longo said the recent
case in Vermont where a judge gave a child molester a 60-day
sentence plus treatment was appropriate, because if the
offender did not get treatment he would be subject to a
longer sentence. The light sentence generated outrage and
protests in Vermont.
Turning to Senator Gumm, Baier asked if the
senator believed sex offenders could be rehabilitated and
Gumm said repeat offenders have already had
their chance to be rehabilitated and they failed. “If
they are a repeat sex offender, they have proven they are
not going to be rehabilitated,” he said.
“I think we have a responsibility as
a society to say if you (sex offenders) are not going to
get better – you have had your chance – let’s
get you as far away from our children as we can, and that
includes the death penalty.”
The appearance on the national news network
concluded a whirlwind week of media interest in Gumm’s
bill, which would be the first of its kind in the nation.
The senator has talked about his bill on the
nationally syndicated “Mike Gallagher Show”
and Fox Radio’s “Fox Across America” afternoon
talk show; Tulsa’s “Dillon Dodge Show”
on KFAQ-FM; and, the “Russ and Dee Show,” which
is broadcast and webcast out of Alabama. In addition, four
Oklahoma television stations have interviewed the senator
and aired stories on the measure.
Gumm represents Senate District 6, which covers
all of Bryan, Johnston and Marshall counties, most of Coal
County, and a portion of Atoka County. In addition to serving
as assistant majority leader, he is also chair of the powerful
Finance Committee and the Senate’s chief presiding
The Oklahoma Legislature will consider the
measure when the 2006 session begins Feb. 6.
more information contact:
President Pro Tem's Office - (405) 521-5605