- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 22, 2015

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board will draw up new eligibility requirements for inmates applying for a shorter sentence after withdrawing a new policy it approved in August.

The new policy was withdrawn Monday after the attorney general’s office determined the board acted improperly in approving it, The Oklahoman (https://bit.ly/1iKA8Gn ) reported. Now the five-member board plans to move forward with the process of establishing new eligibility parameters for commutation.

The process, which requires approval from the Legislature or Gov. Mary Fallin, could take months to complete.

“Painstaking as it is, we will move forward,” board chairwoman Vanessa Price said.

Last month, the board approved changes that would have opened up commutation to more nonviolent offenders. Instead of adopting the changes as policy and procedure, Assistant Attorney General Jan Preslar said the board should enact the rules and allow time for public comment.

The board wanted to allow nonviolent offenders who had served at least 36 months to apply for commutation and require violent offenders to serve 85 percent of their sentence before applying.

“As the statute stands, anybody, anytime can apply as often as they like,” board vice chairwoman Patricia High said.

Commutation hasn’t been granted in Oklahoma for more than three years. But the board will consider commuting the sentences of 12 inmates on Wednesday.


Information from: The Oklahoman, https://www.newsok.com

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