Thursday, September 24, 2020

Anti-crime group launches campaign against State Question 805


Opponents Launch Campaign against State Question 805, Which Would Lessen Penalties for Repeat Offenders and Violent Criminals

Oklahoma City - Today, “Oklahomans United against 805” launched their campaign against a state question which would lessen jail sentences for habitual offenders of very serious crimes like domestic violence in the presence of a child, animal cruelty, home burglary, arson or DUI that leaves someone maimed, and even some classifications of child trafficking. 

Opponents of the measure are concerned about the core of State Question 805, which would ban a repeat criminal’s past crimes from being taken into consideration during sentencing. By taking away the ability to enhance a sentence based on past convictions, SQ 805 essentially treats habitual offenders as first-time offenders. 

State Question 805 would, therefore, lessen the punishment for those REPEATEDLY committing these serious crimes.

“It is very clear now that State Question 805 isn’t about providing ‘second chances’ for first-time criminals,” said Tricia Everest, a long-time community activist who has fought for diversion programs like drug courts and veterans’ courts to help break the cycle of crime that hits too many Oklahoma families.  “SQ805 will affect much more than standard drug crimes. It will lessen penalties for those repeatedly committing serious crimes ranging from child trafficking, domestic violence in the presence of a child, and animal cruelty, to property crimes like burglarizing homes.”

Everest serves as chair of Oklahomans United Against SQ 805.

Statistics show that REPEAT OFFENDERS are responsible for committing the most crimes. Even the average first-time Dept. of Corrections prisoner has already been convicted of 3.5 felonies. If State Question 805 passes, these repeat offenders will spend less time in prison, allowing them to return to the community to commit even more crime against fellow Oklahomans.

Perhaps most alarming is that State Question 805 would go around judges and juries andmandatorily reduce sentence times — removing local control for communities to punish crimes. This is why most district attorneys and law enforcement in Oklahoma oppose the question.

Filed with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission, “Oklahomans United Against 805” has launched a website, no805.org, as well as social media accounts.  

“State Question 805 is terrible public policy,” said former Governor Frank Keating.  “It is no wonder  organizations supporting crime victims, business leaders, and those in law enforcement are banding together to defeat this misguided state question,”  Keating continued.  In addition to having served as Oklahoma Governor, Frank Keating is a former prosecutor, former U.S. Attorney and, while serving in the Reagan administration, oversaw some fo the nation’s top law enforcement agencies such as the Secret Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. “Our mission over the next month is to help inform voters about the very real negative consequences to public safety of SQ 805,” Keating concluded.

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