Pardon and Parole Board

okoffender.doc.ok.gov

Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater objected to a potential commutation for death row prisoner Julius Jones in a letter earlier this week. This comes as the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board will consider Monday whether to give Jones a commutation hearing.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and Civil Rights Attorney Ryan Kiesel about a new policy from Governor Stitt allowing students exposed to COVID-19 to not be quarantined if they were wearing a mask and social distancing, officials at the State Capitol stepping up security ahead of Joe Biden's inauguration and some Tulsa black leaders asking for Senator James Lankford to be removed from the 1921 Race Massacre Commission.

The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted unanimously today to hire Tom Bates as its new Executive Director. The board voted to give Bates the job effective immediately.

The board’s Chairman Robert Gilliland touted Bates’ years of service to the state and said he was the “perfect” choice.

Bates took over the Oklahoma State Department of Health in 2018 after the agency's leaders were accused of mismanaging state funds.

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.

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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.

 

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