Man Released In Oklahoma's Historic Commutation, Arrested Days Later

Tuesday, November 12th 2019, 10:07 pm
By: Bonnie Campo

Eric Beck, 29, is back behind bars after police said they caught him selling drugs days after he was released from prison. 

Beck has a criminal history dating back to 2008. He was most recently in prison on two small drug crimes, and he was one of nearly 500 people released during the state’s historic commutation day earlier this month.

Read Related Story: ‘Best Day Ever’: More Than 450 Oklahoma Prisoners Released In Largest Commutation In U.S. History

By November 8, Oklahoma City police arrested Beck for trying to sell drugs in a hotel parking lot.

“They were flagged down by a vehicle that was passing them saying there was a male in the parking lot who was attempting to sell them narcotics,” said Sgt. Megan Morgan of the Oklahoma City Police Department. “He had individually wrapped packages of meth and marijuana, and then $137 in cash on him as well.”

Over the years, Beck was convicted on burglary, drug crimes and assault and battery on correctional officers charges.

Again, his most recent sentence was for a simple possession of drugs and paraphernalia charges.

Even if Beck wasn't commuted, he was set to be released in two months, according to records. Though, his story has taught us a lot about the process. Each person that goes through commutation is evaluated on a case by case basis.

The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board said in recent cases, inmates were approved if: no district attorney objected to the release, no victims were listed in connection to the crime and inmates passed conduct testing.

However, there are some important items to note, according to officers. Victims must list themselves through the system's database. Officials said if they don't know, victims appear. Police said that shifts the burden of tracking the offender to the person they hurt or damaged and could make it appear like the crimes were victimless.

According to previous data, Department of Corrections reports around 25 percent of people who are released return to prison.

The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board is working to better track stats relating to inmates, including a balloting database to track the voting of the board.

As for the DOC, it confirms it is "keeping track of people released on commutation."

Beck does not have a court date set yet in Oklahoma City. His charges now include Possession with Intent to Distribute and Possession of Drug Proceeds. Beck’s bond is set at $30,000.

Read Also: Former Oklahoma Inmate Enjoys First Day Of Freedom After Commutation, Joins OKC Re-Entry Program