Friday, July 31, 2020

Controversial State Question 805 Will Be on Nov. Ballot

On Wedneday the Oklahoma State Supreme Court ruled that State Question 805 does qualify for the November, 3 ballot. 

Supporters garnered enough petition signatures to allow a vote on the controversial criminal justice question. The question, if passed, will mandate that past non-violent criminal offenses will not be admissible in court when criminals are facing new charges and crimes. 

Opponents of the passing of 805 say that it is "just silly" that a criminals past history of committing crimes will not be allowed to be heard in court. 

Proponents, or those in favor of the measure , say that "the enhanced penalties are currently used to increase prison sentences for offenders and eliminating this for non-violent offenders will save taxpayers up to $18 million per year."

Sarah Edwards, President of Yes on 805, said, "Our state is wasting money doling out sentences for nonviolent offenses that are out of proportion to the crimes." She also stated that, "mental health and substance abuse treatment, education and job training are better investments."

Critics of 805, including several district attorneys within the state, note that Oklahomans need to consider the public safety consequences of passing State Question 805. Plus, they say the state has already made significant strides in reducing its incarceration rate.

Frank McCoy, News Staff

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