SQ 805 would blindfold the courts about who they're dealing with, when adjudicating a career criminal.
Putting statutes In the constitution is lazy, reckless, shortsighted, & dangerous. Our state constitution is twice as long as any other, & amended about 160 times in 113 years. Rerun SQ805 as a statute, & it'll be more palatable.
And oh.. it's also time for a state constitutional convention!
Many of our readers will know by now; that Oklahoma has problems in how we prosecute harmful criminal activities. Our sentencing constraints are an overreach of the legislature, to handcuff the courts, barring them from exercising judgment of the mitigating details in a case. Imagine that! The only ones certified to make judgments... literally, they're called judges;
Our grandstanding legislature and former governors are way out of their lane. The legislature has a rich legacy of trying to be school teachers, preachers, judges, marriage counselors, & sex therapists. The list could go on & on..
The essence of DA Mike Fisher's argument is that the legislature has a bogus and incomplete list of what constitutes a violent crime. You see, SQ805 would exempt violent crimes from the constitutional constraints barring court consideration of a criminal's past legacy of victimizing society.
Read our companion article: SQ805 Exposes Inept Legislature
The legislative judiciary committees are guilty of failing the people of Oklahoma. They have long ignored this essential set of corrections. The House judiciary chair is especially culpable, because he's ruled that committee for years with an iron fist of bullying tactics. The senate judiciary chair has just recently been elected and quickly placed in this influential position because her Republican colleagues believe in her potential. We will be watching her work (or lack thereof) very closely.
The House & Senate leadership would do well to immediately hold a press conference to push floor votes quickly on these reform measures. FLOOR VOTES, not just committee votes. There should have been an interim study of the SQ805 substance this past summer.
The legislature & governor HATE the initiative petition process, because it weakens their own powers. Suck it up, fellas! Start leading where the people are outraged, and trust in the legislature will be enhanced.
In short, The Prosecutors & lawmakers are wrong, but so is a constitutional amendment for effectuating statutory reforms. Rerun SQ805 as a statutory law, and we will have a much better disposition toward it.