Shirley Cloyd will have a chance at freedom after the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board recommended commutation following a 2002 conviction of shooting with intent to kill. Now, the matter goes to the governor to determine the final decision.
Cloyd was convicted in 2002 of attempting to kill a Guthrie police officer Mark Bruning, while serving a search warrant at her residence. Related article: Woman convicted in attempting to kill Guthrie officer is a step closer to parole
She was sentenced to 50 years after a Payne County jury found her guilty of shooting with intent to kill, possession with intent to manufacture, possession of a firearm while committing felony and unlawful possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.
Just three months ago in July, Cloyd was denied parole with a 3-1 vote. Related article: Shirley Cloyd denied parole
During the October commutation hearing, the board voted 3-2 to recommend commutation, which is a reduced prison sentence.
Kelly Doyle and Adam Luck, who were appointed by Governor Kevin Stitt to the parole board, cast two of the three votes to approve Cloyd’s commutation.
Earlier this year, Logan and Payne County District Attorney Laura Austin Thomas recommended both board members be disqualified from cases because they employ parolees that are considered for parole and commutation. Related article: District Attorney requesting parole board members to be disqualified from cases
According to Thomas, Doyle helps assist communities as they increase employment opportunities for people coming home from prison and jails, including those on probation or parole. Luck serves as the Board of Directors for the Center for Employment Opportunities.
Only the governor has the authority to grant or deny commutation for an offender convicted of a violent offense.
In April of this year, Stitt approved of 452 offenders have their sentences commuted in order to lower the prison population during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
On November 1, 2019, Stitt signed the largest single-day commutation in U.S. history, commuting the sentence of 523 non-violent, low-level offenders that were recommended by the Pardon and Parole Board under the HB 1269 docket.