“Avengers” actress Scarlett Johansson endorsed Oklahoma State Question 805, which would reform “unjust” prison sentencing in the criminal justice system.
Oklahomans for Sentencing Reform shared the video on Facebook on Sept 24, proudly announcing that their call for reform has the support of the actress.
“State Question 805 will help end the extreme and irrational sentencing practices that keep Oklahomans in prison and families in poverty,” says Johansson. “It is a common-sense reform that gives us all a chance to address injustice.”
Oklahoma State Question 805 applies only to individuals who are convicted of non-violent felonies. If passed, the reform will prohibit judges from enhancing sentences based on prior, non-violent convictions.
“Right now, if you were convicted of a non-violent felony, served your time, got out and did it again, your prison sentence could be doubled,” says Harrison Blake, a criminal justice major. “The State Question wants to treat every offense like it’s their first.”
According to statements made by supporters of State Question 805 on ballotpedia.org, the current state of the sentencing system is costly to taxpayers and the economy, even saying that “unjust sentencing” keeps families in poverty.
“Oklahoma currently leads the nation in incarceration rates and puts more women in prison per capita than any other state,” says Blake. “This state question wants to reduce the cost to maintain that rate.”
Opposition includes district attorneys, Oklahoma congressmen and State Governor Kevin Stitt. According to Help In Crisis Executive Director Laura Kuester, the reform may not benefit victims of crimes like domestic abuse, and may actually increase lethality potential for high-risk victims of domestic abuse.
“Convicted felons could just as easily commit their crimes again and again without having to worry about a longer sentence,” says Blake.
Scarlett Johansson is a known activist, having traveled all across the world as an ambassador of charities and causes.
To read more about State Question 805, go to www.ballotpedia.org. The election to pass or deny the proposed sentencing reform will be hosted on Nov 3.