State Court Stays Order To Move Oklahoma County Inmates

Monday, October 23rd 2006, 2:45 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The state Court of Criminal Appeals Monday issued a stay to stop the court-ordered transfer of hundreds of state inmates from the Oklahoma County jail to the state prison.

Judge Ray Elliott issued the order last month and gave Sheriff John Whetsel 30 days to move more than 400 inmates out of the county jail. Elliott also ordered that future state inmates be sent to the state prison within 45 days after the necessary paperwork was complete.

County and state officials appealed the ruling which came in a lawsuit filed by public defender Bob Ravitz who says the county jail is dangerously overcrowded.

Whetsel says the order would lead to the release of criminals from the crowded state prisons and cost the Oklahoma County jail about $1.5-million the state pays the county to hold the inmates.

Ravitz calls the appeals court ruling routine while it considers the case.