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Pardon and Parole Board members deserve respect

Published: February 8, 2013

Regarding “Prosecutor to parole board: Resign now or face charges” (News, Jan. 31): Hats off to the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board for its courage and integrity in the face of bullying! Standing up to the ultimatum laid down by Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater shows just how honorable and dedicated these five appointed board members are. If any of them were looking for the easy out, it was presented to them. But they aren't. They do a grueling job, reviewing 500 or more cases every month, then hearing them in long dockets of four days only.

They certainly don't do this for the pay or the admiration of others. They're criticized and lambasted and yet they steadfastly and quietly complete their monthly dockets in just four days. Heaven knows, their work needs to continue so that we don't create more of a backlog than ever in our overcrowded, underfunded prisons.

Be wary of political underpinnings to things. There's more at play here. The outcome of State Question 762 was the people speaking. Don't let the district attorneys overturn that in an underhanded way. I don't doubt that Prater is a good man and an accomplished prosecutor, but enough is enough! These five parole board members are an extraordinary group who do an incredible service. They're guided by their faiths, their intellects and their vast training and experience in criminal justice. They've broken no laws. They deserve respect.

Susan Denis, Tucson, Ariz.

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