Senator Wants Sentence Changed

Oklahoma City, OK – Okla. senator wants inmate's life sentence reduced

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) An Oklahoma state senator says she believes a 61-year-old convicted drug dealer's life-without-parole sentence is excessive.

Sen. Constance Johnson plans to address the state Pardon and Parole Board Wednesday on behalf of Larry Yarbrough. Yarbrough is serving the 17th year of a life sentence after being convicted in Kingfisher County in 1997 of trafficking in illegal drugs after former convictions in five felonies.

Johnson says Yarbrough was convicted of a non-violent drug crime and has been a model prisoner. She says his sentence is excessive when compared to those of other drug offenders and even some violent offenders.

The board is considering commuting Yarbrough's life sentence. Board members recommended in 2002 that the sentence be commuted, but former Gov. Frank Keating rejected the recommendation.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.