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Oklahoma Vice: Letter from blind man serving life for drug charges

Legally blind and serving life without parole for drug-related charges, Paul Rice, whose nickname is "Sunday Paul," according to the Department of Corrections website,  said he has not recieved a visitor in 19 years. A former colleague of mine, Jennifer Palmer, who now works for Oklahoma Watch, contacted Rice for this story she wrote about the then 51 inmates serving life without parole for drug charges.

I also recently wrote an update about the offenders serving life without parole on drug charges. Although the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board has recently approved commutations to significantly shorten the sentences of many of these offenders, most are still waiting for Gov. Mary Fallin to sign off on the commutations. 

Since Jennifer's mail is now forwarded to me, I recieved this latest letter from Sunday Paul. 

Paul writes that after years of deterioration, he completely lost his vision in 2011. He now has plastic prosthetic eye replacements and is currently incarcerated at in Joseph Harp Correctional Center in Lexington, where many older and sick inmates are held.  Paul also included documentation of his blindness in the form of a letter from an ophthalmologist at the University of Oklahoma. 

"I would like to get my sentence corrected to something within statute," Rice wrote. "Also, I am really tired of being locked up. 23 years seems like a long time for riding in a truck with someone carrying dope." 

Paul apologized for his handwriting in the letter, as he is blind, but his penmanship is actually quite neat. In fact, it's much better than mine. 

If you'd like to write to Sunday Paul, drop him a line at:

Paul Rice 182869

JHCC, Unit J

PO Box 548

Lexington, OK, 73051-0548

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Brianna Bailey

Brianna Bailey joined The Oklahoman in January 2013 as a business writer. During her time at The Oklahoman, she has walked across Oklahoma City twice, once north-to-south down Western Avenue, and once east-to-west, tracing the old U.S. Route 66.... Read more ›

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