On this episode of Listen Frontier, Frontier executive editor Dylan Goforth speaks with reporter Ashlynd Huffman about her coverage of the Richard Rojem case.

Rojem, Oklahoma’s longest-serving death row inmate, was convicted for the 1984 murder of his 7-year-old stepdaughter Layla Cummings.

Richard Rojem raised his right hand and swore to tell the truth while seeking clemency. He told the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board he didn’t kill Layla Cummings. ASHLYND HUFFMAN/The Frontier

On June 17, Rojem told the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board he did bad things in his past, but he didn’t kill Cummings. His lawyer asked the board to commute his sentence to life in prison. 

“We’re not suggesting Richard Rojem should be released. All we’re asking is that you commute his death sentence,” Paul S. McCausland said. “If he’s a bad person, he will remain in prison for the rest of his life. But the quality of the evidence in this case was poor to begin with.”

The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted 5-0 against recommending clemency for Rojem.

This is Listen Frontier, a podcast exploring the investigative journalism of the Frontier and featuring conversations with those on the frontlines of Oklahoma’s most important stories. Listen to us Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Stitcher. 

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