TULSA, Okla. — Voters in Oklahoma rejected both State Questions 805 and 814 Tuesday night.
SQ 805 would have ended repeat sentence penalties for nonviolent offenses in the state of Oklahoma, said officials with Oklahomans for Sentencing Reform. Since SQ 805 did not pass, someone convicted of a nonviolent offense can receive greater sentences based on their past felony convictions.
Sarah Edwards, president of Yes on 805, said she plans to continue the fight for criminal justice reform.
The momentum for criminal justice reform is stronger than ever in Oklahoma. Hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans from across the political spectrum cast their vote in support of State Question 805 and demanded our state leaders take bold action to end our incarceration crisis.
This campaign has shown that the status quo of Oklahoma’s top imprisonment rates and overcrowded prisons is not acceptable. Our state spends more than half a billion dollars on the prison system each year, and we can no longer afford a ‘tough on crime’ mentality that actually means ‘tough on taxpayers’ and ‘tough on families.’
Tonight, we hope that members of our legislature and the Governor will live up to their word to take action to tackle our state’s extreme sentencing laws. We have built a powerful bipartisan movement that will continue to fight for common-sense reforms in the months ahead.
We need reform now. We demand the Oklahoma Legislature act on common-sense criminal justice reform this legislative session.
If SQ 814 passed, the percentage of money that is put into the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Fund would have decreased from 75 percent to 25 percent. Since the measure was denied, the percentage of money put into the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Fund will maintain at 75 percent.
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