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AG Says Okla. Parole Measure is Unconstitutional (Sep 27, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Oklahoma Attorney General's office says a criminal justice statute passed by lawmakers that modifies the governor's role in the parole process is unconstitutional.

The legal opinion released Tuesday by Attorney General Scott Pruitt deals with legislation that authorizes parole for certain crimes upon a recommendation by the Pardon and Parole Board but without the governor's approval.

The measure says a parole recommendation for non-violent crimes by the Pardon and Parole Board is considered approved if the governor does not sign off on it within 30 days.

But the Attorney General says it is unconstitutional to grant parole upon the board's recommendation without any action by the governor. The opinion says the measure also places an unconstitutional time limit on the governor.

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