Dills Praises Signing of McKenzie’s Law

Oklahoma House of Representatives - May 21, 2022 10:25 pm

Rep. Sheila Dill, R-Tulsa

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Sheila Dills, R-Tulsa, today praised the governor’s signing of legislation that will hasten the preliminary hearing process in criminal court cases to secure faster justice for victims of crime.

House Bill 3648 is named McKenzie’s Law after a young girl from Dills’ House district who was sexually abused. It took over two years for just the preliminary hearing to take place.

This bill would require a court to commence a preliminary hearing no later than nine months from the initial appearance of the defendant. If the hearing is delayed past that time, the court must schedule a show cause hearing to explain the reason for the delay. If the court fails to find good cause, a preliminary hearing must be scheduled as soon as practicable.

“It’s unconscionable to make victims of a crime, like young McKenzie, wait years for a review of their cases,” Dills said. “They and their families deserve a swift end to the court process so they can move past the crimes committed against them and seek the healing they need. Legal experts agree a more reasonable time frame for due process is necessary and attainable, and I’m glad the governor concurred.”

Dills also applauded the work of her Senate author, Sen. Darrell Weaver, R-Moore, for his work in securing passage of the bill in that chamber.

“It is so important that we remember the rights of the victims in our criminal justice system,” Weaver said.  “I believe there’s a lot of wisdom in that old saying that justice delayed is justice denied.  This bill is aimed at getting the wheels of justice to turn a little faster.  I was extremely pleased to be able to get this legislation through the Senate, and appreciated the opportunity to work with Representative Dills on this important issue.”

HB3648 passed unanimously in both the House and Senate. It takes effect Nov. 1.

Sheila Dills, a Republican, serves District 69 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. Her district includes Jenks, South Tulsa and Bixby in Tulsa County.

 

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