Oklahoma parole board OKs largest-ever US mass commutation

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Oklahoma will release more than 400 inmates after a state panel approved what they say is the largest single-day mass commutation in U.S. history.

The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board unanimously approved the commutations Friday, and Gov. Kevin Stitt said his office would process the recommendations for final approval. The 462 inmates are expected to leave prison Monday.

Voters approved a state question in 2016 that made simple drug possession and low-level property crimes misdemeanors instead of felonies. Stitt signed a bill earlier this year that applied those sentences retroactively.

Pardon and Parole board head Steve Bickley says the mass release is the most on one day since former President Barack Obama commuted the drug sentences of 330 federal prisoners on his last day in office.

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