The Norman Transcript

Headlines

October 14, 2012

Parole ballot issue draws opposition

OKLAHOMA CITY — Opposition is mounting against a proposed amendment to Oklahoma’s Constitution that would grant more authority to the state Pardon and Parole Board by removing the governor from the parole process for nonviolent offenders.

Supporters say the change will reduce the strain on the state’s parole system by making it more efficient, eliminate delays in implementing parole recommendations and cut incarceration costs.

But the measure, State Question 762, has come under scrutiny since Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater accused the Pardon and Parole Board in August of operating a secret parole docket and granting early parole to certain state prison inmates, including some who were not eligible for it.

Within a week, Gov. Mary Fallin asked the board to change some of its policies and practices. And a statement provided by the governor’s office to The Associated Press indicates the parole fracas has forced Fallin to back away from her earlier support of the measure.

“In the interest of public safety and the wellbeing of Oklahoma, the governor’s office should continue to provide this oversight until additional reforms and changes can be made at the Pardon and Parole Board,” Fallin said.

Last year, Fallin signed legislation overwhelmingly approved by the Legislature to modify the governor’s role in the parole process and speed it up for non-violent offenders.

The legislation did not go into effect after the Attorney General’s Office ruled it was unconstitutional.

Oklahoma prosecutors are also weighing in against the proposal. Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn, president of the state District Attorneys Council, said removing the governor from parole decisions “would be a terrible mistake.”

“There would be absolutely no accountability for those who are tasked with releasing criminals from our prisons,” Mashburn said in a statement. “It is imperative to keep the governor in this process as someone who takes this task very seriously.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Fracking Operation Norman library to host community dialogue about fracking

    Are Oklahoma oil companies an oligarchy that is controlling state policy? Is fracking safe? These and other topics will be the subject of an upcoming Fracking Forum from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 11 in the Norman Public Library’s Lowry Room, 225 ...

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Information scarce on ‘dark money’ group in Oklahoma superintendent campaign

    An independent expenditure group that paid for television advertisements opposing State Superintendent Janet Barresi in last month’s primary has not filed required spending reports with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission....

    July 24, 2014

  • Medical examiner says inmate died of an accidental drug overdose

    The Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office on Wednesday said a woman found dead in the Cleveland County jail Feb. 23 died of a drug overdose....

    July 24, 2014

  • Officials say transparency lacking in Wal-Mart zoning

    Norman city staff recently admitted to withholding information from the public regarding a controversial zoning change in southeast Norman. If approved by the city council, the proposal will allow a Wal-Mart supercenter at Cedar Lane and ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Air Algerie jet crashes with 116 on board

    OUAGADOUGO, Burkina Faso — An Air Algerie jetliner carrying 116 people crashed Thursday in a rainstorm over restive Mali, and its wreckage was found near the border of neighboring Burkina Faso — the third major international aviation ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Nonprofit raises $3.9M-plus for new center

    The Center for Children and Families, a United Way of Norman partner agency, announced Thursday that it exceeded its public fundraising goal of $3.5 million and raised more than $3.9 million to complete the purchase and renovation of a ...

    July 25, 2014

  • First Junior Police Academy graduates

    The room went dark and a slideshow flipped through photos of children participating in the first Junior Police Academy as kids chattered excitedly, remembering what they had done over the past two weeks. Norman Police Department hosted ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Very bad week: Airline disasters come in a cluster

    WASHINGTON — Nearly 300 passengers perish when their plane is shot out of the sky. Airlines suspend flights to Israel’s largest airport after rocket attacks. Two airliners crash during storms. Aviation has suffered one of its worst weeks ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Police log

    Police responded to the following incidents Wednesday: · 5:58 a.m. indecent exposure, 100 block of West Comanche Street · 6:08 a.m. burglary in progress, 100 block of West Hayes Street · 8:09 a.m. larceny report, 100 ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Felonies filed

    The following people were charged with felony counts in the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s Office: · Angela Beth Mendinghall, 36, unauthorized use of a vehicle; driving with a canceled, suspended or revoked license · Daniel ...

    July 25, 2014