State Question 805

Our collaborative election project Oklahoma Engaged is not only focused on informative and in-depth radio stories. We also want to strip away extraneous information and get down to the bare bones of state questions on the November 3rd ballot.

MAIREAD TODD / KOSU

Oklahoma voters are being asked whether they want to change the state’s constitution to ban a method of increasing prison sentences for people convicted of nonviolent crimes. The measure is asking voters to take a deep look into Oklahoma’s sentencing laws.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel and Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill about accusations against State Representative Terry O'Donnell who authored legislation which eventually allowed for his wife to take ownership of the Catoosa Tag Agency, a group forms to oppose State Question 805 to stop the use of sentence enhancements for non violent offenders and the state supreme court shoots down a recreational marijuana initiative petition.

 

facebook.com/yeson805

The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that enough voter signatures were collected to put a question regarding sentence enhancements for nonviolent offenders on the ballot on November 3.

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections said in a statement last week there are some flaws in an analysis that claims eliminating sentence enhancements for nonviolent crimes would reduce the prison population and save the state up to $186 million in 10 years.

Sentence enhancements are a tool that allows courts to increase the maximum range of punishment for defendants who have prior convictions.

Criminal justice reform activists believe a potential ballot question that calls for an end to rules that extend prison sentences for repeat offenders could reduce the state prison population by more than eight percent over time.

New analysis completed by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, a conservative think tank, suggests the changes in State Question 805 would save the state up to $186 million over 10 years.

  This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the Oklahoma Supreme Court ordering the Secretary of State to start counting signatures on a ballot measure dealing with sentencing reform, lawmakers meeting to override gubernatorial vetoes while at the same time leaving some vetoes to stand.

 

The Oklahoma Supreme Court is ordering the Secretary of State’s office to accept and count signatures demanding a felony sentencing reform question be added to the ballot this year.

The Secretary of State’s office said it wouldn’t accept more than 260,000 signatures supporting the ballot initiative because the work would put the office at risk of spreading coronavirus.

State Supreme Court justices decided the office hadn’t proven it couldn’t count the signatures safely.