Oklahoma governor commutes 147 drug possession sentence

Regional News

FILE – In this Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019, file photo, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt talks with the media outside the Oklahoma State Election Board in Oklahoma City. Stitt said in a speech Tuesday, that he opposes a plan to further reduce the state’s high incarceration rate by restricting prosecutors from using previous felony convictions to enhance sentences in certain cases. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt has commuted the sentences of 147 people imprisoned for simple drug possession charges that would not be felonies if brought today.

The Oklahoman reports Stitt signed papers Friday to commute the sentences of 119 people to time served and another 28 sentences to one year.

The Republican governor has made reducing Oklahoma’s highest-in-the-nation incarceration rate a top priority.

The commutations are the latest under a law that retroactively applied misdemeanor sentences for simple drug possession and low-level property crimes.

Last year, the state released more than 450 people in the largest single-day mass commutation in U.S. history. 

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