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No matter which candidate or political party you support or don't, you should vote this November 3rd. There are two state questions on the ballot. The state questions are your opportunity to vote directly on the laws and statutes of Oklahoma. So it's kind of important.
As I like to do every election cycle, I'll go over the state questions with you. In this episode I'm going to read you State Question 805, the Criminal History in Sentencing and Sentence Modification Initiative. Next week I'll go over the other state question, 814.
So, to start off I'll read to you the state question as it appears on the ballot. I do this to help you and me comprehend the question a bit better. When you see it on the ballot it will just be a long block of words, sometimes with exceedingly long sentences, and occasionally written in legal speak. So sometimes hearing it helps.
When I'm done, I will give you my opinion on what I think the questions mean. But remember to do your own research. In the show notes, I'll have links to information about the state question as well as to sites for and against the question.
So lets get started. Oh and remember this is going to be very dry:
State Question 805
Initiative Petition 421
This measure seeks to add a new Article II-A to the Oklahoma Constitution.
This new Article A excepts and does not apply to persons who have ever been convicted of a violent felony.
It would prohibit the use of a former felony conviction to increase the statutorily allowable base range of punishment for a person subsequently convicted of a felony.
Individuals who are currently incarcerated for felony sentences that were enhanced based on one or more former felony convictions, and whose sentences are greater than the maximum sentence that may currently be imposed for such felonies, may seek sentence modification in court.
The new Article sets forth a detailed process for such sentence modification, including but not limited to requirements for a hearing, appointment of counsel for indigent petitioners, and notification of victims, and requires that the court impose a modified sentence no greater than the current maximum sentence which may be imposed on a person convicted of the same felony with no former felony convictions, and which results in no greater time served in prison than under the original sentence.
It establishes an appeal procedure, provides an effective date, and contains a sever-ability clause.
Shall the proposal be approved?
For the proposal -- YES
Against the proposal -- NO
Not the easiest of state questions to read, but I do think it's somewhat straight forward. To me this means, that a person can get a fair sentence for the crime they committed, and not have that sentence extended for any non-violent crimes they may have committed in the past.
So, if your convicted for X and the statues say X has a maximum sentence of 5 years, that is the maximum of sentence you can get. If you did Y in the past, and Y was not a violent crime, you cannot have your sentence extended beyond the 5 years for X for that Y crime.
To me that sounds fair.
So what do you think? Are you for or against State Question 805.
Let us know. I'll have a discussion thread setup on the Blog Oklahoma subreddit. So please, join the conversation. Let's talk about it.
I'll have a link to this and more in the show notes at blogoklahoma.net
Register To Vote
If you haven’t yet, please go register to vote. Here in Oklahoma you only have until Friday, October 9th to register to vote in the November 3rd general election.
If you are registered to vote and want to vote absentee, you only have until Tuesday, October 27th to request an absentee ballot. It is really encouraged that you don’t put this off and request your absentee ballot now, and as soon as you get your ballot, fill it out, sign it, go get it notarized or attach a copy of your driver’s license to it, and drop it into the mail. The sooner the better.
For more details on how to register to vote or request an absentee ballot please visit ok.gov/elections.
It wouldn't be Oklahoma without howling winds and a little electrical issue. So please ignore any snap, crackle, and pops you may hear during this episode. Oh, and I apologize for that loud “Damn It!” you may have heard from the general direction of Elk City on Sunday afternoon. That was probably me after the power went out and I had to start the recording session all over again. Fun.
I hope you're doing well this week. Things are doing well on this side of the Washita river, except for a spike in COVID-19 cases all week long. Kind of not unexpected considering all the public events that have been happening lately.
Please remember to mask up when you go out in public. Don't touch your face, wash your hands, and social distance whenever possible. We need to get this virus under control and we can only do that with your help.
Mask up, Oklahoma. Please.
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