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Hundreds of Oklahoma inmates to be released in largest commutation in US history

Posted: 7:48 AM, Nov 04, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-04 09:49:08-05
Hundreds of Oklahoma inmates to be released in largest commutation in the nation

TULSA, Okla. -- Oklahoma is making history after a state panel approved the commutations of more than 450 inmates.

Governor Kevin Stitt signed the recommendations on Friday.

Hundreds are set to be released from prison Monday and reunited with family and friends.

It's being called the largest-ever single day US mass commutation.

This comes after Oklahomans in 2016 approved a state question that made low-level drug and property crimes misdemeanors instead of felonies.

Governor Stitt signed a bill this year, making those sentences retroactive.

Johnna Davidson’s sentence was commuted December of 2018 by former Governor Mary Fallin.

After being released, she completed a program through his open door transitional living, got her own apartment and has had a job as a welder for almost a year.

“I’m excited that they’re getting a second chance," said Davidson. "I hope that they utilize the resources that they’re given and take it serious.”

Pardon and Parole Board Head Steve Bickley said this will be the biggest mass release of prisoners since former President Barack Obama commuted drug sentences of 330 federal prisoners.

State officials said Oklahoma is expected to save about $11.9 million in average prison costs once the inmates are released.

This story was originally published by Ashley Wheeler at KJRH.