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Republicans worried about number of paroles

Updated:
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Senate Republicans claim Governor Brad Henry is putting the public at risk because of the number of paroles he's approving.

Senate Minority Leader Glenn Coffee said yesterday that figures from the Pardon and Parole Board show Henry -- a Democrat -- has approved parole recommendations for almost 500 violent criminals in his first two years.

A spokesman for Henry says Coffee's press conference was more about politics than it was about public safety.

Spokesman Paul Sund says Henry's top concern when considering paroles is public safety and that the governor personally reviews each case.

Sund says Henry generally considers the scheduled release date of an inmate and often approves paroles when the inmate is scheduled to be released shortly. That way, he says inmates can be paroled with supervision and other conditions.
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