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Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin denies request for commutation

The governor denied a request for commutation for Larry E. Yarbrough, an Oklahoma inmate serving a sentence of life without parole for felony drug trafficking.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Modified: October 25, 2011 at 9:54 pm •  Published: October 25, 2011

A request for commutation for a convicted drug dealer from Kingfisher who is serving a prison sentence of life without the possibility of parole has been turned down by the governor.

Gov. Mary Fallin decided not to commute Larry E. Yarbrough's sentence after a thorough review of the case, Alex Weintz, the governor's communications director, said Tuesday.

The state Pardon and Parole Board voted in August that Yarbrough's sentence should be commuted to 42 years.

Yarbrough, 61, has been in prison since 1997. The board recommended a commuted sentence for Yarbrough in 2002, but then-Gov. Frank Keating denied the request.

The five-member board issued a 3-2 split decision at a hearing room packed with Yarbrough's family members.

Two board members voted not to commute the sentence.

Two others recommended Yarbrough's sentence be commuted to time served.

One member said the sentence should be commuted to 42 years.

If Fallin had approved the board's recommendation, Yarbrough could have been eligible for parole next year.

“The pardon and parole board has a difficult job, and I appreciate the commitment and hard work of its members,” Fallin said. “Sometimes we are going to disagree, and this is one of those times.”

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