Criminal Justice, Law & Principles

U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in Oklahoma ‘reservation’ case

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday in a case that will determine if much of eastern Oklahoma becomes classified as a collection of Indian reservations, scrambling legal and regulatory authority over hundreds of thousands of citizens.

Ray Carter
May 11, 2020
Criminal Justice, Law & Principles

Crime may be unaffected by COVID-19, while lawsuits proliferate

The statewide COVID-19 shutdown may have dramatically impacted most Oklahomans, but it may not have deterred serious crimes, law enforcement officials told lawmakers Thursday. At the same time, the state could soon face a rash of lawsuits challenging the legality of government actions that forced business closures and the loss of citizens’ jobs.

Ray Carter
April 17, 2020
Criminal Justice

Parole overhaul, diversion funding sought to address SQ 780 shortcomings

Supporters and critics alike are calling for reforms and/or new funding to address the perceived shortcomings of State Question 780, a voter-approved initiative that reduced penalties for theft and drug use in Oklahoma, with one lawmaker even advocating “radical” change.

Ray Carter
November 8, 2019
Criminal Justice

Change in felony threshold tied to increased crime

In 2016, Oklahoma voters approved State Question 780, which raised the felony threshold for property crime to $1,000 per occurrence. Retailers, law enforcement officials, and private citizens recently told members of a Senate committee that the result of the state question has been an increase in crime.

Ray Carter
October 28, 2019
Criminal Justice

Oklahoma fees may be excessive, unconstitutional

Oklahoma’s use of court fines and fees may be excessive and potentially unconstitutional, according to experts who spoke at a recent Senate meeting. But law enforcement officials stressed that repeal of those fees will require an offsetting increase in state appropriations.

Ray Carter
October 23, 2019
Criminal Justice

Risk assessment urged for bail process

Under existing Oklahoma law, people arrested for crimes can post bail and be released even if they pose a threat to others, while other individuals posing no threat remain behind bars awaiting a hearing because of poverty, officials told lawmakers at a legislative study.

Ray Carter
October 22, 2019