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Oklahoma Bill Would Reduce Sentences For Some Non-Violent Crimes

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Flickr / Wesley Fryer
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The Oklahoma House approved legislation on Tuesday that reduces sentences for property crimes like larceny and forgery.

Republican Terry O’Donnell of Catoosa authored the bill. He says it will lower the state's overall incarceration rate and the number of women in prison — many of which are convicted for non-violent crimes like writing bad checks.

O'Donnell's office says prison admissions for property crimes grew by almost 30 percent recent years. The average sentence for those convictions has also increased over time.

House Bill 2281 adjusts sentence lengths depending on the dollar value attached to the crime.

Crimes totaling $1000 or less could only be punishable by one year in prison. The penalty climbs with the dollar amount with a max of 8 years for crimes totaling more than $15,000.

The measure also has harsher punishments for organized shoplifters and repeat offenders.

The measure must now clear the Senate before it goes to the Governor.

Quinton Chandler worked at StateImpact Oklahoma from January 2018 to August 2021, focusing on criminal justice reporting.
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