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National group to recognize Oklahoma prosecutor with award

August 5, 2018

ADA, Okla. (AP) — District 22 District Attorney Paul Smith’s recent work on complicated capital murder cases has garnered the attention of a national advocacy group representing government attorneys.

The Association of Government Attorneys in Capital Litigation is set to recognize Smith’s work Aug. 8 at the group’s 39th Annual Summer Conference in Washington D.C., where Smith will receive the 2017-2018 Award for Outstanding Advocacy in Capital Cases.

In a letter informing Smith of his selection for the award, AGACL Secretary-Treasurer Edward Marshall included a copy of Smith’s nomination, penned by “the grateful citizens of Oklahoma, the 22nd District and the family of Mr. T.J. Sloan and Colton Clark.”

In the nomination letter, the authors cited “a substantial caseload of high-profile murder cases in all three counties (comprising the 22nd Judicial District), singling out the recent convictions Smith obtained in the cold case murder trial of Colton Clark’s uncle and aunt, Rex and Rebecca Clark. The Clarks were convicted of Colton’s murder in October 2017 and each received a sentence of life without parole.

Colton’s 2006 disappearance shocked and saddened area residents, but the arrest and prosecution of his aunt and uncle for the boy’s murder more than a decade later galvanized the community and shone a spotlight on so-called “no body” cases nationwide.

The authors of Smith’s nomination said the district attorney has a “100 percent conviction rate in homicide cases” — cases Smith has prosecuted numerous times in his more than 33-year career as a prosecutor, the Ada News reported.

“But the most telling of all of those cases was the Colton Clark case in which Mr. Smith’s abilities, persistence and dedication came to shine the brightest,” the authors wrote.

“I am honored to be recognized by this national group of capital trial lawyers,” Smith said. “I so appreciate the support of all those that nominated me. Helping the families of victims get justice is the reason I am passionate about continuing to do this work for our district.”

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Information from: The Ada News, http://www.adaeveningnews.com

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