OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — Hundreds of non-violent DOC inmates were released Monday morning following a historic vote by the pardon and parole board on Friday.
On Monday morning, hundreds of DOC inmates were released from prison as part of what could be the largest single-day commutation in U.S. history, with 462 inmates expected to be released by the end of the day.
“I’m very happy that my mom’s getting a second chance, because she deserves it,” Ivy Fox-Lemus told News 4.
That second chance started with a big hug and tears of joy for Fox-Lemus and her mom, Lana Lemus, as they were reunited for the first time in three years outside Kate Barnard Correctional Center Monday.
“If there’s anybody out there like me, it’s not worth it. Drugs are not worth it. This right here, this beautiful baby, is worth it right here because I can’t make up for the time that I’ve lost,” Lana Lemus said.
Lemus was incarcerated for three years for simple drug possession. That charge is no longer considered a felony after voters passed SQ 780 in 2016.
Then this past legislative session, HB 1269 retroactively passed, which led to a historic vote by the pardon and parole board on Friday.
“This wasn’t republican or democrat. This was Oklahomans deciding that we need to be smart on crime moving forward and this proves that,” Governor Kevin Stitt said at Eddie Warrior Correctional Facility on Monday.
Governor Stitt was at Eddie Warrior as 70 women were released from that facility.
“I was surprised because I never filed,” Roberta Galvan Lastra, who was released from Eddie Warrior, said. “I’m overwhelmed and happy to see my daughter again.”