State Senator ‘Disappointed’ With Voting Down of Bill

State Representative Rev. Dr. George E. Young Sr. speaks during an announcement at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City, OK, of a ballot initiative to reduce the prison population, Wednesday, January 27, 2016, Photo by Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman

State Sen. George Young Sr. (Dem., Oklahoma City) said he is “disappointed” with a committee’s “killing” of a proposed bill that requires “a racial impact statement” be a part of any new criminal justice legislation that makes significant changes on criminal offences.

State Senate Bill 209 was voted down by the Rules Committee.

“I am very disappointed,” State Sen. Young said in a statement.  “It’s no secret that incarceration disparities exist and are deeply ingrained in our criminal justice system.”

“Requiring racial impact statements is just one way we can work to bridge the gap of disproportionate incarceration in our state,” the state senator explained.

“I am disappointed in the failure of any Republicans to see this bill as a reasonable attempt to address” the problem of disproportionate sentencing of minorities in the state’s criminal justice system,” State Sen. Young said.

“I also submitted legislation to create the Oklahoma Commission of Race & Equality as another piece of the solution, and this bill was not granted a hearing in committee,” he continued.

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