Oklahoma Governor Releases 462 Prisoners In Largest Commutation In US History

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt on Monday released 462 prison inmates the parole board had recommended for commutation.

Oklahoma City, OK – More than 450 Oklahoma inmates were granted early prison releases on Monday, in what Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt boasted was the largest single-day mass commutation in the history of the United States.

On Nov. 1, the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board forwarded Stitt’s office a list of 527 inmates who the board unanimously recommended for sentence commutation, NBC News reported.

Stitt approved them all.

Although 65 of the inmates remained in custody due to other detainers, 462 offenders were released from prisons across the state on Monday, according to NBC News.

"This marks an important milestone of Oklahomans wanting to focus the state's efforts on helping those with nonviolent offenses achieve better outcomes in life," the governor said in a statement on Monday.

"The historic commutation of individuals in Oklahoma's prisons is only possible because our state agencies, elected officials, and partnering organizations put aside politics and worked together to move the needle," Stitt noted.

The mass release was the result of a ballot proposal approved by voters in 2016, The Oklahoman reported.

The legislation downgraded many property crimes and drug offenses from felony-level offenses to misdemeanors.

It also established an expedited commutation process for inmates who were sentenced to prison for felonies that were reduced to misdemeanors while they were serving time, The Oklahoman reported.

Under the legislation, offenders with old convictions on their records were also provided with a simplified expungement process.

"Tens of thousands of Oklahomans will be eligible to apply to have their felony taken off their record, which will open up new and hopefully more fruitful employment opportunities for them," Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform Executive Director Kris Steele told The Oklahoman in May.

Steele declared that the law change “opens up a lot of opportunities for individuals who have that scarlet letter hanging around their neck to have that removed and it affords those individuals the opportunity to move forward in life in a very healthy and positive way," according to the paper.

Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board Executive Director Steve Bickley said that by unanimously voting to commute the hundreds of sentences, the board was “fulfilling the will of Oklahomans,” NBC News reported.

“The goal of this project has been more than just the release of low-level, nonviolent offenders, but the successful re-entry of these individuals back into society,” Bickley added.

The released inmates were given state-issued identification cards or driver’s licenses to help them re-enter society, NBC News reported.

"We really want you to have a successful future," Stitt told a crowd of released inmates and their family members outside of the Dr. Eddie Warrior Correctional Center. "This is the first day of the rest of your life… Let's make it so you guys do not come back here again."

Leigh Silverhorn was released from Kate Barnard Community Correctional Facility after serving just six months of her 10-year drug possession sentence, FOX News reported.

She claimed she was busted with approximately $5 worth of marijuana, according to KOKH.

“I’m excited,” Silverhorn said as she left the prison nearly a decade earlier than planned. “I’m ready. I’m ready to go.”

Shannon Brown was sentenced to 12 years in prison for drug possession, but walked out of prison on Monday after serving less than two years.

"Thank God for the 780 law and great people who voted for it,” Brown declared, according to KOKH.

Lana Lemus has served approximately three years of her 10-year drug possession sentence.

“It’s the great thing that the governor is doing so we can be home with our kids,” Lemus told KOCO.

As long as none of the hundreds of released prisoners reoffend, the state will save nearly $12 million due to their early releases, FOX News reported.

Comments (27)
No. 1-12
IseeWhereThisIsGoing
IseeWhereThisIsGoing

All non-violent offenders? The parole boards recommend early release? Lets hope they don't re-offend, and wish them luck as they re-acclimate to society.

LEO0301
LEO0301

"Leigh Silverhorn was released from Kate Barnard Community Correctional Facility after serving just six months of her 10-year drug possession sentence, FOX News reported. She claimed she was busted with approximately $5 worth of marijuana, according to KOKH."

Really! 10 years for $5 worth of marijuana...I don't think so. I hate when the MSM quotes someone like this but does no fact checking.

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

Personally, I don't like raising the limit of property crime felonies to $1000 from $500. Virginia recently raised the limit to $500 from $200, and I was against that. Stealing $300 is a big deal, and the courts should have some flexibility in heavy punishment for such offenses, particularly for repeat offenders.

Good lawyers typically are successful in plea-bargaining these felony charges down for most offenders anyway.

So now, if you steal $999, with some meth, heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine on ya, you can walk.

sbuckner021
sbuckner021

if they're truly non-violent offenders - I back this 100%. incarceration for drug addiction/possession is a proven INEFFECTIVE solution- not to mention costly for everyone.

Militarymom25
Militarymom25

Give them all maps to the Govenor's mansion.

Cduncanf
Cduncanf

Now, if only Oklahoma will take back Pocahontas from Massachusetts. I asked everyone I know there if they want her and no one did.

sizzle937
sizzle937

A few yesrs back about two hundred of these non violent guys were released A hundred thirty five were back in. One guy was arrested four hours after he got out for robbing a bank. In California they did it two years ago. Crime went up

Shastabeau
Shastabeau

Gotta get them back on the streets for representation of the cartels and push more of their f'n poison!

61mouse
61mouse

And so it starts

skipk1962
skipk1962

Released repeat drug offenders (offenders = users = addicts), so what. How about shutting down the supply? Focus on that. Who cares if we throw a bunch of drug addicts in jail, let's focus our efforts and money on cutting off the supply. Way to go Oklahoma!

Ltpar
Ltpar

Just another "feel good" action by fools who don't comprehend how the real world operates. Last time I looked recidivism was somewhere around 97 % for prison inmates. If this statistic is correct, that means 448 of the prisoners will be back on the street looking for their next victim. Stupid move by the people of Oklahoma.

Repubic*of*USA1
Repubic*of*USA1

Well Oklahoma don't feel bad cause our dumbass governor from New York was probably the first one to do it as the prisoners were taking money out of Crumbo pocket. Now we have to look 4 ways instead of looking front and back for killers, thieves, and rapist and gangs. Why the hell can't we get a governor who works for the people instead of thinking of him/her selves. We pay taxes for keeping these prisoners in jail as long as the judges deamed nesessary as per the law. Maybe we ought to put our governor and his people that are behind him/her. Must be DEMOCRATS behind this as New Yorks idiot is a DUMBASS CRAT.