On Dec. 6, I sat in on a full day of parole board hearings and experienced firsthand the detailed, painstaking and fully open-to-the-public work these five individuals and their staff do, four days every month. I was awed by their stamina, professionalism and care. All Oklahomans have an opportunity to watch, learn and participate. I expected a packed room, with all the hullabaloo that Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater's accusations caused from August until now.
Oklahomans passed State Question 762 with a large margin. But most of the day only one chair was filled — mine. I traveled from Tucson to Oklahoma City to attend December's hearings. I have a loved one in an Oklahoma prison in Vinita, and we've been working toward early parole for over a year. But the board won't move until summer unless it hears from you. Oklahomans need to weigh in.
I flew across three states, four years early, to observe. Your system is overburdened, full beyond capacity and your parole board is doing an extraordinary job. But don't believe me, go sit in and see for yourself!
Susan Denis, Tucson, Ariz.