Oklahoma could more aggressively punish convicted sex offenders under legislation filed by Sen. Dan Newberry.
“The heartbreaking nature of these crimes demand a stronger approach to sentencing and punishment,” said Newberry, R-Tulsa. “Abuse, exploitation and kidnapping are crimes that tear families apart and permanently impact the lives of far too many vulnerable people. These measures would bring us a step closer to appropriate punishments for such heinous offenses.”
Senate Bill 2297 would increase fines for convicted sex offenders found in violation of the Sex Offenders Registration Act. Under the measure, convicted sex offenders who fail to properly register may be punished by up to 10 years imprisonment or a fine of $100 per day until the offender registers. Additionally, if an offender returns to the custody of the Department of Corrections for failure to register, the offender will not be eligible for early release.
Under Senate Bill 2227, offenders convicted of sex crimes in other states will be required to pay the Department of Corrections a fee of $2,000 upon their registration after moving into Oklahoma. Any fees collected would be deposited in the Department of Corrections revolving account.
“Though some lawmakers have considered easing certain restrictions on sex offenders, I believe we need to send a strong message that we will not tolerate predators in our communities,” Newberry said. “Our laws on this matter must be focused on protecting vulnerable Oklahomans rather than catering to offenders. We cannot allow our state to become a safe haven for sex offenders.”
Newberry has also filed Senate Bill 2301, which would make electronic monitoring devices mandatory for all Level Two and Three sex offenders who have been released from custody.