TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma voters may get to decide whether to amend the state constitution to bar people convicted of non-violent felonies from having to serve extra prison time because of previous convictions for non-violent offenses.
A petition to get the sentencing enhancements measure on the 2020 ballot cleared a 10-day protest period without objection, meaning its backers have 90 days, starting Thursday, to gather the 178,000 valid signatures needed to get it on the ballot, the Tulsa World reported.
"It is the middle of the holiday season, but hopefully there will be crowds gathered around the state," said Kris Steele, executive director of Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform. "We'll be out and about."
The proposed amendment would specifically exclude anyone who has ever been convicted of a violent felony. But would give inmates currently serving so-called enhanced sentences, in which extra years were tacked on due to prior non-violent convictions, the opportunity to seek to have their sentences shortened.
The petition must be submitted by March 26.