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Oklahoma County DA alleges inmates released early, through secret votes

Filed by KOSU News in Feature, Local News.
August 8, 2012

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Some Oklahoma inmates got a chance to get out of jail early, but only through secret votes. As KOSU’s Ben Allen reports, some of the inmates may have been released before they were even eligible for parole.

Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater says the state Pardon and Parole Board didn’t clearly show the votes on any public schedule. And in a letter to Director Terry Jenks, accuses the board of clearing violent offenders for release before they had served at least 85 percent of their sentence. OU Law Professor Randall Coyne

“I was shocked a, that it may have happened in private and b, the decision was actually to release folks. The Parole Board is not known for being particularly lenient.”

District Attorney Prater alleges the Board violated the Open Meetings Act by voting on the early release of 51 inmates in secret. In a statement, the Pardon and Parole Board said it complies with the Act, and will temporarily stop early consideration of parole for inmates who haven’t yet served the time required by law.

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