The Position of the Association of Oklahoma Narcotic Enforcers
The Association of Oklahoma Narcotic Enforcers represents over 1,500 law enforcement professionals including police officers, deputies, prosecutors, analysts, and victim advocates. The mission of our organization is first and foremost the public safety of Oklahoma, and State Question 805 poses an imminent threat to our State.
The proponents of State Question 805 have completely misrepresented the impact of these massive, pro-criminal, changes to our laws. First, the idea that these changes only impact minor offenses is patently false. State Question 805 would provide protections for repeat sexual offenders such as those committing sexual battery, indecent exposure, soliciting a minor by phone or computer to engage in sex, while also reducing sentences for repeat offenders who commit domestic abuse by strangling their victims, assaulting pregnant victims, or those abusers committing violence in the presence of children. Furthermore, State Question 805 protects habitual DUI defendants, even those who cause great bodily injury to their victims, while also reducing penalties for repeat offenders who commit residential burglary. Unfortunately, the list goes on and on.
Incredibly, the advocates of State Question 805 would have our citizens believe that those currently sentenced to these crimes actually serve out their sentences despite the fact that every one of these criminals are eligible for parole after serving 25% of their sentence. In fact, habitual criminals know very well that they will only serve a small fraction of their sentence, with even a smaller portion spent behind bars. A significant segment of our “inmates” in Oklahoma are actually living at home attached to a GPS monitor or residing at a halfway house. It is important to note that in the last two years Oklahoma’s prison population has actually decreased 17.7 percent and the prison overcrowding narrative is a manufactured crisis not based in reality. Promises of purported savings to fund benevolent programs are of the oldest, and most oft used, propaganda techniques that appear when promoting a questionable legislative effort.
What crime we do experience is committed by a small number of individuals. For instance, when a community experiences 100 burglaries, that does not in any way represent 100 separate burglars, but a very small number of thieves stealing over and over again. It is this repetitive and habitual offender that police and prosecutors should focus their efforts and resources, but State Question 805 does nothing more than provide a legal sanctuary for these habitual defendants who cause so much havoc in our communities.
These theories urging the reduction of law enforcement did not originate around here, but are part of spurious intellectual ideas offered by special interest groups with no experience dealing with criminals who victimize citizens. To illustrate the horrendous impact State Question 805 would have, simply pick a city where the law is not being enforced and evaluate just how that city is doing. If police and prosecutors are stripped of their ability to target habitual offenders, Oklahoma would experience the public safety chaos currently seen in America’s coasts. Our citizens, our children, and our victims deserve better.
State Question 805 is a fallacy at every level. Unanimously, deliberately, and emphatically, the executive board of the Association of Oklahoma Narcotic Enforcers opposes State Question 805 and asks all of our partners in public safety and all of Oklahoma’s citizens to do the same.
First Assistant District Attorney
Rogers, Mayes, and Craig Counties
Association of Oklahoma Narcotic Enforcers