Historic Felony Sentencing Reform Bill Heads To Gov. Stitt's Desk

A landmark sentencing reform bill is headed to Governor Kevin Stitt for his signature after it was passed in the Senate this week. 

Thursday, May 30th 2024, 10:40 pm



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A landmark sentencing reform bill is headed to Governor Kevin Stitt for his signature after it was passed in the Senate this week. 

A committee of nearly 30 people has been working on House Bill 1792 since 2018. 

That committee was comprised of representatives from all corners of the justice system. 

"What is it that we can do to make our criminal justice system fair but also have some teeth to it and some meat to it so that anybody who's getting involved in the criminal process kind of understands this," said Steve Kunzweiler, Tulsa County District Attorney.

The bill takes the more than 2,000 felonies in the state and organizes them into 14 classes.

Those classes are labeled by a letter designation, range of punishment, and a percentage requirement for serving those punishments. 

"There's two needs out there, one is protecting your community, and the other one is making sure you have a fair system that's providing corrections," Kunzweiler said.

The reform also changes how we treat felons serving time. Kunzweiler says this new reform will include counseling, treatment and classes available to inmates. 

"My chief complaint about it is we have what we call a Department of Corrections," Kunzweiler said. "I have been referring to them as the Department of Housing because I'm not seeing any corrections coming from the system."

The hope is to prevent repeat offenders from finding their way back into the system after a conviction

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