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February 2, 2013

Okla. Parole Board rejects resignation demand

(Continued)

OKLAHOMA CITY —

In one instance, the prosecutor said a woman found guilty in 2008 of manslaughter was required to serve 85 percent of her 10-year sentence, or 8 1/2 years, before she would be eligible for parole under state law. Yet the victim’s family was notified she was on the Pardon and Parole Board’s docket in July — four years early.

Prater alleges the board violated the act 51 times in the last three years when it took up early release requests without proper public notice. The district attorney has said any actions by the board regarding early parole for the inmates are invalid and should be reversed, including taking improperly released inmates back into custody.

Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s office issued an opinion In October that said the board has the authority to recommend commutations for inmates required to serve 85 percent of their sentences before they are eligible for parole. The opinion said the governor also has the power to grant the commutations.

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