Since 2005, 22 states have passed laws authorizing residents to use lethal means to protect themselves in certain situations. The trend had stalled until Republicans became the majority in more legislatures. Florida is poised to strengthen its law in favor of shooters.
Oklahoma, which for 25 years has led the nation in locking up women, imprisons 151 out of every 100,000 women, more than double the national rate. In Tulsa County, women’s sentences for some drug crimes decreased over the past seven years. An intensive program funded by oil billionaire George Kaiser’s foundation works to provide alternatives to prison for women facing long sentences.
Gov. Mary Fallin touts two measures approved by Oklahoma voters last year. One made certain low-level crimes misdemeanors rather than felonies, including simple drug possession and theft of items valued at less than $1,000. The other aims to use money saved by incarcerating fewer people to help fund drug treatment and mental health programs.
St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said comments by interim Police Chief Lawrence OToole after a third night of protesting the acquittal of a police officer in a shooting were “inflammatory,” but she is standing by him. The city is seeking a new chief to replace Sam Dotson.
Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) will reintroduce the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act. The two-year-old proposal failed to make it through Congress last year, and the Trump administration may oppose it.