Pardon and Parole Board

okoffender.doc.ok.gov

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter says the state Pardon and Parole Board has the authority to hold commutation hearings for death row prisoners. The AG made the announcement in response to a question from the Pardon and Parole Board.

The opinion should clear up confusion created after death row prisoner Julius Jones applied to be considered for commutation last year. Jones was convicted of murdering Edmond man Paul Howell in 1999.

The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board is asking the state Attorney General’s opinion on whether death row prisoners qualify for its commutation process. The board voted unanimously to send the question to Attorney General Mike Hunter’s office.

Board members say they have reviewed the state law that defines their powers and aren't sure whether the normal commutation process applies to death penalty cases.

The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board recommended 12 of 14 prisoners for medical parole on Wednesday. The board removed two people from consideration because one was already up for parole and the other chose not to seek early release.

Medical parole is reserved for prisoners with serious health conditions and is rarely used. It allows the pardon and parole board to bypass time consuming procedures if the Department of Corrections recommends prisoners for consideration.

The agency sent this latest list of people to the board for consideration earlier this month.

Wesley Fryer / Flickr

As the state Pardon and Parole Board prepares to consider 14 releases on Wednesday, reform advocates are petitioning the state of Oklahoma to reduce the prison population and release prisoners who are at higher risk of dying from COVID-19.

Oklahoma could release up to 14 prisoners at high risk for COVID-19.

126 individuals were classified as having severe medical needs, but only 14 met the eligibility requirements for medical parole.

Corrections officials say the inmates couldn’t be serving time for a violent crime, have a history of domestic violence or have to register as a sex offender upon release.

The state’s Pardon and Parole Board will hear an emergency medical parole docket on May 13.

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This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the lawsuit by legislative leaders to get the governor to call a revenue emergency so they can fund the government through the month of June and number provided by the governor's office on how many inmates are getting released in the latest round of commutations were incorrect.

  

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the passage of MAPS4 by a wide margin garnering more than 70% of those voting, the Pardon and Parole Board sees a 118% increase in the number of docketed cases with commutations jumping 426% since 2018 and Governor Stitt gives an extension to his criminal justice reform task force.

 

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the announcement by Higher Education Chancellor Glen Johnson to retire from the position effective at the end of next year, AG Mike Hunter announces the state is hiring a Michigan law firm for $250,000 to deal with tribal gaming compacts and the Department of Corrections locks down state prisons after gang-related violence kills one inmate and injures dozens of others.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about Epic Virtual Charter School calling for an investigation of State Senator Ron Sharp over "defamation" of the institution, Oklahoma still ranks second in the number of uninsured people in the state and more people are getting recommendation for commutations and paroles.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about Governor Stitt signing his first bill allowing anyone over 21 to carry a gun without a permit or training, a Senate committee passes measures to give the governor power over the hiring and firing of five state agency directors and another Senate committee passing legislation making abortion illegal if Roe v. Wade gets overturned in the US Supreme Court.