Prosecutor Again Asks Court to Bar Duo From Death Row Case
Beverly Cantrell - October 7, 2021 7:01 am
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma prosecutor is again asking the state Supreme Court to remove two members of the Pardon and Parole Board from the case of a high-profile death row inmate.
Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater filed the motion Monday to remove Kelly Doyle and Andrew Luck from the clemency hearing for Julius Jones. Prater alleges the two are biased because of their work with inmates on criminal justice reform.
“Both Adam Luck and Kelly Doyle engage in political activities that work to release inmates from prison, all of which makes their Board decisions, at the very least, have an appearance of impropriety,” Prater wrote.
The court previously rejected Prater’s request to remove the two from Jones’ commutation hearing on the same grounds.
Attorneys for Luck, Doyle and the board have filed motions to dismiss the request, arguing that it is moot because of the court’s prior rejection of the claims.
Prater counters that the motion is a continuation of the original request.
The five-member board voted 3-1 on Sept. 13 to recommend that Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt commute Jones’ sentence to life in prison. Luck and Doyle both supported commutation. Board member Scott Williams was recused from the vote because of a professional relationship with an attorney who spoke on Jones’ behalf.
Stitt said he would await the outcome of the clemency hearing, which is set for Oct. 26. Jones is scheduled for execution on Nov. 18.
The case has drawn the attention of reality television star Kim Kardashian West and numerous professional athletes with ties to Oklahoma, who have appealed for clemency.
Jones, now 41, was convicted in the 1999 slaying of Edmond businessman Paul Howell.
Jones has consistently maintained his innocence and alleges he was framed by the actual killer, a high school friend, and a former co-defendant who was a key witness against him.