FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 20, 2018
Contact: Jared Deimund
Governor Fallin Commutes an Additional Nine People
Eight of the nine being released this week as part of second round of successful commutations from campaign by Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform
OKLAHOMA CITY – Today, Governor Mary Fallin changed the lives of an additional nine men and women by signing their commutation applications sent to her through Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform’s (OCJR) commutation campaign. The governor’s action will lead to the release of eight of the individuals by tomorrow, reuniting them with their family and friends just in time for the holidays. A ninth applicant had his sentence commuted from 21 to 10 years, making him eligible for parole next year. Upon release, the individuals will receive robust re-entry support and services coordinated by OCJR.
Fallin commuted 21 others earlier this month who were supported by OCJR.
“December has truly been a life-changing month for these 30 people along with their loved ones,” said Susan Esco, Board Member at OCJR. “We are grateful to Gov. Fallin for her leadership in criminal justice reform in Oklahoma and are confident this first round of commutations in 2018 has built momentum for greater progress in 2019.”
OCJR launched the commutation campaign to help correct unjust sentences and start a larger conversation about making SQ 780 retroactive in state law.
The 29 individuals commuted to time served and one who saw his sentence cut in half during the commutation campaign are among the 46 applicants OCJR assisted with the help of the Tulsa County Public Defender’s office and several University of Tulsa law students in an effort to reduce sentences that are out of step with voter approved reforms (SQ 780/781) passed in 2016 and legislative reforms passed earlier this year. The campaign, through thousands of hours of work by all partners and providers, has been able to send 29 people home to their families this holiday season.
“With all due respect to Santa, Governor Fallin gave the 30 best holiday gifts in Oklahoma this year. Three weeks ago, these Oklahomans were in prison preparing to spend the holidays separated from their families and children. Now they are headed home,” said John Estus, Chief of Staff at OCJR. “Our goal now is to make SQ 780 retroactive next year and reunite more people, who wouldn’t be in prison today under current law, with their families.”
About Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform
OCJR is a bipartisan coalition of community leaders and experts from across the state working to safely reduce incarceration, save taxpayer dollars, and make Oklahoma’s communities safer by addressing the root causes of crime. It is comprised of some of Oklahoma’s most prominent faith leaders, law enforcement, elected officials, health professionals, and business leaders. To learn more, visit https://okjusticereform.org.