Court ruling could mean resentencing for about 50 Oklahoma criminals

Wednesday, January 26th 2005, 8:59 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A US Supreme Court ruling earlier this month could mean reduced sentences for 50 ore more criminals in Oklahoma.

The court ruled that judges can not increase the length of a convict's sentence based on factors that the judge found, but the jury did not consider when convicting the person.

US Attorney Robert McCampbell in Oklahoma City says about 50 convicts will have to be resentenced by the federal court for the western district of the state. Assistant US Attorneys Scott Woodward and Gay Guthrie in the northern and eastern districts of the state expect only a few criminals will be resentenced in those districts.

Prosecutors say convicted criminals are already asking for reduced sentences from the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, which hears cases from Oklahoma and five other states.

The 12 judges on the appeals court say they'll consider the sentencing issues at their next session, scheduled for March seventh at the University of Oklahoma Law Center.