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Oklahoma Parole Ballot Issue Drawing Opposition

Department of Corrections
The Oklahoma State Prison at McAlester

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Opposition is mounting against a proposed amendment to Oklahoma's Constitution that would grant more authority to the state Pardon and Parole Board.

The measure is State Question 762 and will be decided by voters in the November 6th general election. It would remove the governor from the parole process for nonviolent offenders. Oklahoma is the only state in the nation that requires the governor sign off on every inmate parole recommendation, even those for nonviolent offenders.

Supporters say the change will reduce the strain on the state's parole system by making it more efficient, eliminate delays in implementing parole recommendations and cut incarceration costs.

But opponents, including Governor Mary Fallin and Oklahoma prosecutors, say they're concerned that removing the governor from parole decisions could erode the accountability of the process.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.