Ponca City, OK

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Nearly 750 Oklahoma prisoners seek commutation in first quarter

The Associated Press and The Oklahoman - June 17, 2019 4:13 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board says nearly 750 prisoners applied in the first four months of the year for their sentences to be commuted.

Justin Wolf, the board’s general counsel, says this is about twice the number of applications submitted by the end of April last year. Wolf tells The Oklahoman that more than 560 inmates applied for commutations last month alone.

Commutation is a form of clemency intended to correct an unjust or excessive sentence.

A measure that took effect in 2017 made some drug and property crimes misdemeanors, not felonies. Agency officials say the bump in applications might be because Gov. Kevin Stitt last month signed legislation directing the board to speed up commutations for those whose crimes have been reclassified as misdemeanors.

 

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