The Norman Transcript

Election Coverage

September 30, 2012

SQ 762 calls for reforms to pardon and parole process

NORMAN — Proponents of State Question 762 say it will save the state millions of dollars. Opponents say it will open the gates for those prisoners who need to serve their time.

State Question 762 modifies the power and authority of the governor and Pardon and Parole Board in the parole process for nonviolent offenders by removing the governor from the process.

“Letting the governor focus on parole recommendations for violent crimes is a critical component of Oklahoma’s recent progress to build a stronger, more effective criminal justice system,” said House Speaker Kris Steele, R-Shawnee. “Approving this measure will generate tens of millions of dollars in savings that can be reinvested in initiatives that truly reduce and prevent crime. A vote for SQ 762 is a vote for a safer Oklahoma.”

The 2007 audit of the Department of Corrections found that removing the governor from the parole process for nonviolent offenders would save up to $40 million over the course of a decade because of the increased efficiencies and quicker processing of paroles.

“It is our hope that these savings can then be reinvested into strategies to aggressively reduce and prevent crime,” Steele said.

“The Legislature defines what offenses are nonviolent offenses and the Legislature may change that definition,” according to the ballot language

District Attorney Greg Mashburn of Norman strongly opposes the measure and supports a “no” vote.

“I am very much opposed to 762. It removes all accountability to the pardon and parole process,” Mashburn said. “By taking the governor out, it allows the Pardon and Parole Board to parole people straight to the streets with no checks and balances. The Pardon and Parole Board is not accountable to the people of the state of Oklahoma. For instance, if a parole board member is from, let’s say Clinton, and they want to release someone to the streets of Idabel, they’re not accountable to anyone in Idabel. They don’t have to answer to the people of Idabel. And we know, based on recent experience with the parole board, they’re not acting very responsible with their choices. They’re putting people on the docket that aren’t even eligible for parole. The only way we’ve been able to stop that is through the governor’s office.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Election Coverage
  • Election logo.jpg Editor’s note

    Look here for an ongoing series of stories exploring the six state questions and the local candidate races on the Nov. 6 ballot. Additional stories will be coming weekly until the election.

    September 28, 2012 1 Photo

  • Stiles, Aaron.jpg Stiles retains seat by 18 votes; provisional ballots still in play

    Incumbent House member Aaron Stiles will retain his east Norman seat, according to complete, but unofficial returns from state House District 45 showed early today.

    November 7, 2012 1 Photo

  • Warren 2012 Americans face prospect of status quo Congress

    A barrage of negative ads, more than $2 billion in spending and endless campaign stops all come down to this: Americans likely will ...

    November 7, 2012 1 Photo

  • Voters must show ID

    Oklahoma’s proof of identity law was approved by voters in 2010. It passed with 74 percent of votes cast. The law requires every voter who votes in person at the precinct polling place or during early voting at the Cleveland County ...

    November 5, 2012

  • EarlyVote3 Review of state questions

    What does a ‘yes,’ ‘no’ vote mean? With six state questions on the ballot, voters will have a lot of information to remember when they enter the polls. In an effort to inform and educate voters on the upcoming elections, The Transcript has ...

    November 5, 2012 1 Photo

  • Election day Tuesday

    Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday for the General Election. Jim Williams, Secretary of the Cleveland County Election Board, offered voters some tips on how to make votes count....

    November 3, 2012

  • Election logo.jpg Early voting starts today

    Early voting starts at 8 a.m. today at the Cleveland County Election Board, 641 E. Robinson St., Suite 200 in Norman. Because this is a federal as well as state and local election, office hours are extended until 6 p.m. today for anyone ...

    November 2, 2012 1 Photo

  • Chamber apologizes for sending Switzer letter

    Couple says they didn’t authorize, sign off on letter A letter to the editor supporting State Question 766 — purportedly written by Barry and Becky Switzer of Norman — was not authorized by them and should not have been published in ...

    November 1, 2012

  • Two in county sheriff’s race

    There was some early confusion over whether Oklahoma Republican Rep. Mike Reynolds was running for Cleveland County Sheriff because he shares the same name with a Moore business owner....

    November 1, 2012

  • ID required to vote in election

    Oklahoma’s proof of identity law was approved by voters in 2010. It passed with 74 percent of votes cast. The law requires every voter who votes in person at the precinct polling place or during early voting at the County Election Board to ...

    November 1, 2012

Video
Facebook