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Oklahoma State Senate
Senator Susan Paddack
Senate District 13
Majority Whip
Coal, Garvin , Hughes & Pontotoc Counties

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For Immediate Release: March 7, 2006

Senator Susan Paddack
Sen. Susan Paddack

Caitlin’s Law Approved by Full Senate
Family Comes to Capitol to Support SB 1037

With the family of Caitlin Wooten sitting in the Senate gallery this morning, the Senate unanimously approved The Caitlin Wooten Act with bi-partisan support. The author of Senate Bill 1037, Senator Susan Paddack, said with the bills approval by the Senate, it now awaits action in the House of Representatives.

“When we started this process shortly after Caitlin’s death, I told her family that we would take this journey together to do our part to create a safer Oklahoma,” Paddack, an Ada Democrat said. “It takes courage to turn tragedy into triumph and this family has shown great courage throughout this process.”

Paddack, who serves on the Senate’s leadership team as Majority Whip, said SB 1037 contains major reforms that are tough on crime and smart for Oklahoma families. The bill is aimed at strengthening bail laws by requiring persons charged with the violent crime of kidnapping to prove they are not a public danger before they may post bail. It also allows for an electronic notification system, called Victim Identification and Notification Everyday (VINE) to be put into place statewide in order to notify victims when offenders move through the criminal justice system.

“I believe that if this law would have been in place before, the man who killed Caitlin would never have been out on the streets to harm her,” Paddack said. “The passage of this bill honors the life of 16-year-old Caitlin and helps create a safer Oklahoma in the process.”

Senator Paddack began working with members of Caitlin’s family shortly after the teenager was murdered by Jerry Don Savage. She knew after learning of Caitlin’s tragic death, as a lawmaker she must work to change the laws to prevent another family from being ripped apart by a senseless act of violence.

“With the passage of SB 1037 today by the full Senate, we are one step closer to making The Caitlin Wooten Act a reality,” Paddack said. “It’s the right thing to do and I applaud the members of the Senate for their support of this bill. I also commend this family for the dedication they have shown for making a difference in the lives of so many Oklahomans.”

Paddack said she hopes the House will takes action on the bill quickly, ensuring it will be signed into law by the Governor.

“Caitlin’s Law in tough on crime and it sends a strong message to those who think they can get away with hurting Oklahoma families,” Paddack said. “It sends the message that Oklahoma will not tolerate this sort of senseless violence because we will protect our families and communities through passing sound laws in this state.”

For more information contact:
Senator Paddack's Office - (405) 521-5541

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