Since November, I’ve been studying the Oklahoma Department of Corrections and looking into different issues and historical articles written about its facilities. During a project about escaped inmates in December, I heard about a woman named Nannie Doss, who confessed to killing several family members and four of her five husbands. I was interested in Doss and decided to do some research on her killings and conviction. I knew right away that I wanted to do a story, but I wasn’t sure what the angle would be.
One day I was going through the Oklahoman’s digital archives and found a story about her sentencing. The judge in the case said in the story that he thought Doss was insane despite medical evaluations. Due to this, she was sentenced to life instead of receiving the death penalty. It peaked my interest that the judge also noted that Oklahoma had never executed a woman.
I knew the state executed three women in 2001, and I began to wonder if Doss would have received the same sentence today. I reached out to officials and asked what they thought about the case and other female executions.
Read their comments here.