Understanding the Steps of Commutation
Hi, I’m Oklahoma City Attorney Aaron Easton, and today we’re talking about the process of commutations through the State of Oklahoma Partner and Parole Board. And really step one of that process for you, anyway, is to fill out an Oklahoma Partner and Parole Board application, providing the reasons why you think you’re a candidate for commutation.
You submit that application to the Oklahoma Partner and Parole Board, where they will begin the first phase of their process, which they refer to as a jacket review. Now, in this jacket review, what they’re gonna do is review your application that you turn in, along with any additional documents, and addendums that you might’ve added to the application to determine if they feel like you are, in fact, even a candidate for commutation.
Now, the reason they do this is oftentimes applicants can get confused about exactly what a commutation in Oklahoma is, instead of the somewhat similar but different processes of parole and pardon to other things that the Oklahoma Partner and Parole Board cover, obviously, by their name. So, a commutation is specifically for an unjust or excessive sentence.
So, the arguments being made in the application and any additional documents are gonna have to be geared towards that specifically. So, if the Partner and Parole Board determines that you’re a potential candidate for commutation, they will pass your jacket review on to phase two of the process, which is called the personal appearance.
The Personal Appearance
At the personal appearance, as you might guess, you would attend via video conferencing at an Oklahoma Partner and Parole Board commutation hearing. And you’re also allowed to have as many delegates as you want, friends and family, that would support your application for commutation. Attend that, but importantly, only two can actually attend the commutation hearing in person.
Even more importantly, only one of your delegates can speak for you on your behalf. And this is a very important point here, because kinda alluding back to what I said in the first part of the process with the jacket review, it’s important whoever is the delegate speaking on your behalf, that they speak in a narrow way, in a specific way about the reasons why your sentence is unjust and excessive.
So, this is not the time to get off track and talk about other things that maybe are important, but aren’t important directly for this commutation process. So, very important point here to use those five minutes very wisely.
Take the First Step and Seek Legal Advice
If you feel like you are a possible applicant for commutation in Oklahoma, and you wanna know what your chances are, or perhaps what the process might look like, in a more detailed way, based on the specific facts and circumstances of your case, I would highly recommend that you speak to an attorney privately and confidentially, again, about your specific case.
And if you would like to do so with an attorney at my firm, you can do that with the free consultation. And to talk to us, you can reach us online at postconviction.lawyer, or by phone at (918) 932-2833.