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Bill to End Life Without Parole for Drug Users

Filed by Michael Cross in Feature, Local News, News, Politics.
August 18, 2011

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A State Senator is introducing legislation to end the practice of life without parole for non-violent drug offenders.

Senator Connie Johnson says she’s introduced Senate Bill 986 on Wednesday because the state is going to spend $58 million for 48 non-violent prisoners who are facing life without parole.

The Oklahoma City Democrat says drug offenders should instead be getting treatment.

“The nature of these crimes nowhere equals the amount of money that we’re investing in locking people up for non-violent drug related offenses.”

Senator Johnson points out the case of 61-year-old Larry Yarbrough who was arrested in 1994 with an ounce of cocaine and given life without parole.

On Wednesday, the pardon and parole board recommended to Governor Fallin that she commute the sentence to 42 years making him eligible for parole next year.

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