JEFFERSON CITY, MO. (AP) — A nonviolent drug offender who argued that a change in state law should have made him eligible for parole is among nearly 30 people whose sentences were commuted or who were pardoned by Missouri Gov. Mike Parson.

Gary Mitchell, of Joplin, whose name was released Wednesday, was handed a sentence of 15 years in prison without parole in 2013 because he had a prior conviction.

He appealed after Missouri law was changed in 2014 to repeal the guidelines that directed judges to sentence nonviolent drug offenders without a chance of parole. Lawmakers had intended the law to be applied retroactively as part of an effort to right past wrongs in terms of disparate sentences handed to drug offenders.

But the Missouri Supreme Court ruled in February that the legislative rewrite of the criminal code could not be applied retroactively in Mitchell’s case.

Two others in a similar situation to Mitchell also had their sentences commuted to house arrest contingent upon approval of a home plan.

A fourth commendation was given to Anne Coke, who will see her prison time reduced from two consecutive 15-year sentences to two consecutive eight-year sentences. Coke was an employee of a dental office in Marshall when she took pre-signed prescription pads and used them to obtain oxycodone with the help of a husband and wife. Coke was initially charged with 134 counts of fraudulently attempting to obtain a controlled substance in 2016.

Parson announced the commutations along with 24 pardons on Monday but didn’t immediately release the names of the recipients because he said he needed time to notify their families.

Of the 24 people who were pardoned, none are currently incarcerated.

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