Frequently Asked Questions: State Question 805 and Domestic Violence

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What does domestic violence have to do with SQ 805?

Under SQ 805, ALL domestic violence crimes will be considered non-violent.

The petition uses the definition of violent crimes as of 1/1/2020. On that date, no domestic violence crimes were defined as violent in Title 57, Section 571. Inmates with repeat felonies can seek reduced sentences & forever avoid sentence enhancements, even if they’ve been convicted of abusing their partner 20 times. 

Don’t victims of crime support 805?

We’ve received an outpouring of feedback from survivors and their children and not one person has said they support 805. In fact, the following comments have been shared with us: 805 is insulting to survivors, it takes us backwards, it will put them and their children at risk of harm. 

Is domestic violence a violent crime now?

On November 1, 2020, four domestic violence crimes were added to the violent crimes list: 57 O.S. § 571. But it’s 11 months too late to be included in SQ 805 as the petition defines the list of violent crimes as of January 1, 2020. On that date, NO domestic violence crimes were on the list. 

Domestic violence can get up to 10 years.

A prior pattern of DV has a max 10-year sentence with eligibility for parole after serving 25% of the sentence. This charge requires either a witness or direct evidence independent of the victim.  Oftentimes the only witness is a child and having them testify is very traumatic. This charge is rare and accounts for less than 1% of DV convictions. 21 O.S. § 644.1

Can DAs just charge general assault and battery, which is already considered a “violent” crime?

When prosecutors bypass domestic violence charges, it takes away the targeted interventions specific to domestic violence sentencing, such as specialized courts and statutorily mandated treatment.

Please share how SQ 805 will impact someone in prison now for domestic violence?

Currently there are over 1,100 inmates in the Department of Corrections for domestic violence. SQ 805 will provide means for anyone who is currently incarcerated on an enhanced sentence to apply for a reduced sentence. A real-life example includes the abuser of a victim who almost died after he violently stabbed her, while she ran from him. Under SQ 805, this abuser’s 20 year sentence could be reduced to only 10 years. Since the abuser is eligible for parole after serving just 25% of his sentence, this abuser would be eligible for parole in months (rather than years) given that he has already served close to 2 years in DOC custody. If 805 was to pass, someone who repeatedly stabbed their partner could get out of prison in less than 3 years.