Okla. Question 805: The weight of past felony convictions

It would also provide sentence reductions to people who are serving or set to serve sentences that were enhanced due to past non-violent felony convictions.
Ok State Questions

OTTAWA COUNTY, Okla. – Currently in Oklahoma district attorneys can enhance a person’s sentence who is charged with a crime based on past felony sentences.

But that could change because of Oklahoma State Question 805, that if passed would not allow a convicted person’s sentence to be made longer due to past felony conviction

“For example, second degree burglary, which is breaking into a house and stealing stuff, so if 805 passes then that burglar will be treated the same ,it’s the same set of punishment, whether it’s his first felony conviction or his 25th felony conviction” said Ottawa County District Attorney, Kenny Wright.

It would also provide sentence reductions to people who are serving or set to serve sentences that were enhanced due to past non-violent felony convictions.

“I think It’ll make it even harder for us to incarcerate repeat offenders for significant loads of time, so this will be the guys who have had a lifetime of criminal activity” added Wright.

Wright is against 805 and says most all in the law enforcement community are as well.

“It’s like raising your children so as you’re disciplining your children if they do something wrong the first time and you give them a punishment, if they repeat that bad behavior do you just give them that exact same punishment over and over and over? Well of course you do not. You increase your punishment to try and make sure you’re having an effect to change behavior.”

But there are organizations in favor of 805, like Kris Steele, the Executive Director for Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform.

“We literally have the highest incarceration rate per capita of any state in the nation. State question 805 gives us the opportunity to safely reduce our prison population.”

Saying it’s a way to give someone a second chance for non-violent offenses but more so to better utilize resources.

“Question 805 is not a free pass. People who commit crimes will still go to prison, but they will go to prison for a length of time that’s more in line with the national average if it’s a nonviolent offense and what that does it frees up nearly 200 million dollars over the course of time that would allow us to invest in issues that would address the root cause behind the behavior.”

You can find more details on State question 805 here.