The voters of Oklahoma have recently been leading the legislature on a few issues. One such matter is on criminal justice reform. Too many lawmakers have fallen for the intimidation from prosecutors and private prison lobbyists who suggest that the next election cycle will feature 3rd party expenditures claiming that the incumbent is 'soft on crime'.
But two lawmakers are willing to face down this intimidation. Majority floor leader Jon Echols is working with Democrat Representative Jason Dunnington. the two represent portions of Oklahoma City.
The bill directs state courts to hear motions for setting aside the sentence of a nonviolent convict. Courts will then apply the new sentencing guidelines that SQ780 put in place after the voters overwhelmingly passed the initiatives on election day of 2016.
Violent crime felons are not eligible under this proposal. But those who were caught a 3rd time with small amounts of marijuana or other drugs would have a chance to establish their medical basis for treatment. Many veterans suffering PTSD would fall into this category.
The House could have a floor vote on HB1269 as early as next week.
Here's the audio clip of the House Rules Committee session where Chairman Chris Kannady presided over the motion, questions, debate, and vote. Per the chair's demand, the title was stricken at passage, giving the chair additional powers to stop a floor vote from occurring unless & until he approves. Title has to be restored before a floor vote can occur.