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Largest Sentence Commutation in US History: Nearly 500 Inmates Walk Free After Oklahoma Voters Demand Reform

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/11/04/largest-sentence-commutation-us-history-nearly-500-inmates-walk-free-after-oklahoma


Thanks to those who fight for justice rebalancing in OK, other states and throughout the world. Yours is important and underreported work. This is a big win and you have hopefully many more yet to come. I hope the private prison stocks took it deep up their wazoos today in the markets.


I attended U of O in the late 60’s early 70’s. As a white kid from Chicago with what was basically a Fro and Bell bottoms there were places in Norman that I couldn’t expect to go in, and walk out of. This is quite a leap from those days. Congrats Sooners.


While this certainly newsworthy and a sign of progress the underlying question of why the laws that sent all these peoples to Prison in the first place were passed, who was behind them and who made profits off the same needs to be answered.

The readers here know the answers. These laws were driven by corruption in high places and by monies flowing into the pockets of politicians by Lobbyists seeking to churn profits for industries they represented. Again welcome news but in the great scheme of things will not accomplish a heck of a lot if only the symptoms of corruption and not its causes looked at.

Congratulations to the peoples that worked towards this.


Domestic battery = 11 months + 28 days
Possession of controlled substance = 12 step program for white peoples and jail time for others

Nearby, a child molester got probation!
would have been lynched 100 years ago.

Releasing non violent offenders who were not selling illegal drugs saves taxpayers $35,000 per year per inmate. Lets make sure they can read and write.


Both GEO Group and CoreCivic were up over 2% today. They think Trump’s their ace in the hole.

Still 2.3 million human beings in cages.


Without a doubt this is a very good start and by changing the category to a misdemeanor it stops the flood of felons into a corrupt system. Making the private prison corporations become nonprofit would also be a helpful effort.


Oklahoma has the highest incarceration rate in the nation, and the USA has the highest incarceration rate in the world. Maybe Oklahoma was running out of residents.

Corrections 101: The goal of corrections really isn’t to make political friends rich. It’s not really to minimize costs per day. It’s not really to torture vast numbers of people in the inner circles of Hades. The goal of corrections is to have a whole society with a complete circle from the judge to full reintegration into society.

Some convicts have criminal conspiracy behaviors, coordinated lying systems, sometimes cult behaviors, that need to be corrected. Some cons have various personal behavior problems, from alcohol addiction to psychosis to emotional buttons that get too easily pushed by bullies. Some cons need skill sets so that they can hold jobs and survive in the outside world. Some people need to be separated from certain other people.

Almost all other countries have lower recidivism because they look at the problems of individual cons in order to fix them. They all save money and their crime rates are lower.

I saw no mention of when–or indeed if–those who have been released will have their right to vote restored. Felon disenfranchisement is a large part of the right-wing drive to limit the number of voters, which includes gerrymandering, voter roll purges, and closing polling locations.

This was a wise decision by Oklahoma State. Other states should follow their example. Instead of rotting away in cages at taxpayer expense these freed people can potentially resume careers or with a bit of guidance and schooling.begin new ones. Now they become State tax payers instead of a State tax expense. And a whole lot of money can now be put toward other State needs such as infrastructure repair or reconstruction. Or, taxes could be reduced. Everybody wins.


I think it is a good idea that these prisoners were released. I presume that some of them were in for posession of dope of various kinds. Why is there any penalty for ‘victimless crimes’ such as posession of marijuana? The law, or the fear of the law, does not stop anybody from buying and using it, excepting when they are in jail, and can not get it smuggled in. The law is a waste of time, for a start and a waste of everybody’s money and it supports the ‘criminals’ that sell it. It would cause less harm if the stuff was given to the addicts by injection at a free clinic. Each addict/patient should be seen for each shot and there would be no profit for the criminal gangs that do the production and distribution. Be realistic. Face the facts.
Why not try it out? The results could not be any worse than what is now happening everywhere.