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Oklahoma Prosecutors Question Proposal to Free More Inmates

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma’s district attorneys are raising concerns about a proposed new ballot measure aimed at further reducing the state’s prison population.

In a statement late Tuesday, Oklahoma District Attorneys Association President Jason Hicks said one problem is that crimes such as child trafficking, aggravated assault and battery, and domestic abuse aren’t technically violent crimes under state law.

The proposed state question filed on Tuesday would prohibit prosecutors from using previous nonviolent felony convictions to enhance prison sentences.

Hicks says state prosecutors are still examining the proposal, but that there are already elements that would be “detrimental, if not catastrophic, for public safety.”

District Attorney Angela Marsee says ignoring past convictions of repeat offenders is “detrimental to our mission.”