HB 2595 authorizes any court sentencing a veteran to consider as a mitigating factor that the person has been diagnosed as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from his or her military service. The vet has to provide documentary evidence that served in in a combat zone and has been diagnosed with PTSD. The law is codified in 22 OS § 973a.
As a veteran, I think this is a great thing. Many vets come back from combat and are unable to cope with the difficult things they experienced. I salute all the veterans out there, and I’m happy their concerns are being addressed.
Another way veterans are being addressed in the criminal justice system is through the Veterans Diversion Program (Veterans Court) in Oklahoma County. The program is specifically designed to help veterans facing criminal charges. It’s rigorous but worth it. If the veteran successfully completes the program then the charges are dismissed. I’ve worked closely with the people who run the program, and they do an excellent job. Their passion for helping vets is off the charts, so I can’t thank them enough for the great work that they do. I also have to take my hat off for the Oklahoma County District Attorney for supporting this great program.
HB 2595 – http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/cf_pdf/2015-16%20ENR/hB/HB2595%20ENR.PDF
22 OS § 973a – http://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=478323
Article covering the bill – http://kfor.com/2016/09/15/new-ptsd-bill-to-go-into-effect-across-oklahoma/