Early pardon for unjustly harsh sentence

Oklahoman Published: August 19, 2012

Regarding “DA accuses board of expediting release of ineligible inmates” (News, Aug. 9): The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board was clearly trying to right a wrong when it pardoned Patricia Spottedcrow, who was given an unjustly harsh sentence, especially for a first-time offender. She was incarcerated for selling $31 worth of marijuana and got a 12-year sentence. Yes, her action was illegal, but she already paid the price in time served. Spottedcrow was sent to prison instead of given the chance to participate in a women's program for nonviolent offenders. Her children were denied her presence as she was sentenced to a prison at a distance.

I commend Richard Dugger and other parole board members for reviewing her sentence and recommending early parole. I commend Gov. Mary Fallin for recognizing this error of injustice and following the recommendation of the board.

It's right and just to speak out and be advocates for those whose cases should be reviewed and action taken on their behalf. We all need to stand up and be counted and assist others who aren't a danger to society and deserve consideration of early parole.

Mary Ann O'Kane, Oklahoma City

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