“Everything around us is a blessing,” Oklahoma woman ready to start second chance at life after commutation

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — A woman who was released from prison as part of the largest, single-day commutation in U.S. history is moving into a new house and excited to soon start a new job.

For Lana Lemus, her new rent home is more than what meets the eye.

“Being able to just open the door to your own house, people take that for granted. They don’t realize what they have,” Lemus told News 4.

It’s something Lemus said she learned during her three years incarcerated at Kate Barnard Correctional Center in NE OKC.

That’s where News 4 first met Lemus when she walked away a free woman Monday and was greeted by her daughter with an emotional embrace.

“God’s had his hand on me for years and I didn’t really believe that I would get this second chance,” Lemus said on Monday.

Her second chance is part of the nation’s largest single-day commutation.

It started back in 2016 when voters passed SQ 780, making simple possession a misdemeanor. On Friday, Governor Kevin Stitt commuted hundreds of those sentences.

“The governor doing this, it brings all of us back to our family because whenever we get locked up, our parents get locked up too. Our parents, family, the people that care about us. It kills them,” Lemus said.

Lemus said it’s not only quality time with family and having her own place, but also the little things she’s cherishing.

“Being able to walk into a store and just, I walked into Walgreens this morning and was like looking around and, ‘Ma'am can I help you?’ No, I just want to look at stuff,” Lemus said. “Everything around us is a blessing and nobody sees that.”

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