OKLAHOMA (KFDX/KJTL) — History will be made Monday across Oklahoma.
The state with the highest incarceration rate in the country will carry out the largest single-day commutation of prisoners in U.S. history.
Close to 500 inmates currently serving time will walk free, and as Jay Gray explains, that’s just the start of the process that will empty thousands of prison beds.
Audio: “Michael Pangle, Rita Parker, Craig Patterson.” It’s a roll call.
Of those to be released. 469 men and women behind bars in Oklahoma who Monday, will walk out of prisons across the state.
Governor of Oklahoma, Kevin Stitt, said, “they’re going to be back with their families on Thanksgiving, get back in the workforce, save the 11.9 million for Oklahomans, right? That’s a huge deal.”
A deal made when voters and then the state legislature agreed that simple drug possession and non-violent property crimes under $1,000 should be classified as misdemeanors, and that offenders already serving felony sentences for those crimes should go free.
Governor Stitt said, “this group of nonviolent offenders are just a part of this story. By the end of this year, we’re anticipating we’ll have about 2,000 empty beds in our system.”
A system that later Monday will make history with the largest single-day commutation of prisoners in U.S. history.