Senate panel approves harsh new criminal penalties

By: From Wire Reports
By: From Wire Reports

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Despite Oklahoma's high incarceration rates, a Senate committee has approved a half-dozen bills to increase the criminal penalties for various crimes, including the distribution of child pornography, and drug and human trafficking.

With little discussion and no debate, the Senate Public Safety Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved several bills that dramatically increase fines, penalties or prison time for people convicted of certain crimes.

One bill would double the fine for distributing "obscene materials" from $1,000 to $2,000, and make the punishment for a second offense related to child pornography a mandatory 10 years in prison.

A recent study shows Oklahoma locks up more women per capita than any other state and has the fourth highest overall incarceration rate in the country.

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