Oklahomans launch new petition to reduce prison population
By SEAN MURPHY
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – A group working to reduce Oklahoma’s prison population is launching a new initiative petition that could lead to the release of hundreds more inmates.
A group of business, political and religious leaders filed the constitutional ballot initiative on Tuesday. The proposal would prohibit prosecutors from using previous felony convictions to enhance sentences in nonviolent cases. It would also allow people who already had such sentence enhancements to petition the courts for relief.
Once its petition is finalized, the group will have 90 days to gather nearly 178,000 signatures from registered voters to place the proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot.
The same group launched a successful initiative in 2016 that reduced criminal penalties and ultimately helped lead to the release of hundreds of inmates from prison last week.