The governor of Oklahoma on Thursday canceled the execution of a death row inmate just hours before the man was put to death, in a case in which the state pardons and parole board twice recommended that his sentence be commuted.
“After prayerfully considering and reviewing the documents presented by all parties to this case, I have decided to commute Julius Jones’ sentence to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole,” Governor Kevin Stitt said in a statement. communicated.
The man, Julius Jones, was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to death in 2002. He was convicted of the murder of Paul Howell, who was in a car in the driveway of his parents’ house when he was hijacked from his car and shot dead 1999. The commutation came less than a month after the Supreme Court, with its three more liberal dissenting members, lifted a stay of execution from a federal appeals court had awarded Mr Jones and another Oklahoma death row inmate, John Marion Grant, who was executed last month.
Mr Jones, 41, a former Oklahoma City high school basketball player, was 19 at the time of the murder, which he says he did not commit. Mr. Howell, a businessman from the suburb of Edmond, was 45 years old.