Gov. Stitt To Wait Until Clemency Hearing To Make Decision On Julius Jones Case
Beverly Cantrell - September 29, 2021 6:15 am
Governor Kevin Stitt announced he won’t make a final decision on the Julius Jones case until after his clemency hearing.
Stitt said he’s rejecting the Pardon and Parole Board’s recommendation to commute death row inmate Jones’ sentence because it’s not the “appropriate venue for our state to consider death row cases.”
“Clemency hearings are more intensive and thorough than a commutation hearing and include the option for the inmate to speak publicly before the Pardon and Parole Board as well as the victim’s family and attorneys from both sides,” Stitt said in a statement.
The Pardon and Parole Board recommended earlier this month that Jones’ sentence be reduced to life in prison, without the possibility of parole.
Even though the Pardon and Parole Board can recommend action, the decision falls to the governor.
Jones was convicted in a 1999 murder of an Edmond businessman, but Jones’ case for commutation has garnered national attention.
Jones, 41, has consistently maintained that he is innocent of the killing and alleged that he was framed by the actual killer, a high school friend, and a former co-defendant who was a key witness against him.
District Attorney David Prater of Oklahoma County, where the killing occurred, and Oklahoma’s former attorney general, Mike Hunter, have said the evidence against Jones is overwhelming.
A November 18, 2021 execution date has been set for Jones.