Criminal justice measures return to House

Mike Seals - April 15, 2021 10:10 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY – Two criminal justice bills made their way through the Senate Thursday and returned to the House for consideration of Senate amendments. Sen. David Bullard, R-Durant, is the principal Senate author of the measures expanding the Pretrial Release Act and updating post-conviction supervision rules.

HB 1647 subjects entities offering pretrial services in a county to the Pretrial Release Act. Such services must obtain background information from the defendant, including all previous arrests, convictions and orders of protection. The program will use court records available through the Oklahoma State Courts Network (OSCN), Department of Corrections (DOC), Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) and any other information provided as ordered by the court. The program’s monthly reports must contain, among other information, the name, case number, and criminal charges of each person that obtained a pretrial release as well as those who failed to appear in court.

“With the passage of House Bill 1647, we will have in statute an equality in reporting that applies to pre-trial release. There has been a long-standing gap in data on what is happening to those who have been released by this method,” Bullard said. “I’m pleased with this language, and the results will be equally valuable to our justice system.”

SB 1651 repeals the requirement for those convicted after November 1, 2012, to be subject to post-imprisonment supervision for a period of nine months to one year following their incarceration.

“This bill will set right a process which has been deemed unconstitutional. The practice of post-conviction reporting requires more of individuals than the judicial branch placed on them in due process,” Bullard said. “This reporting requirement goes beyond the sentencing and is a violation of the separation of powers. Once a conviction has been made and the sentence served, people must be allowed to get back to the business of life.  It was a great pleasure to carry this important legislation.”

Rep. Justin Humphrey, R-Lane, is the principal House author of both measures.


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