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Julius Jones
USA - Julius Jones (Ok)
USA - Oklahoma. Parole Board Again Recommends Commuting Julius Jones’ Death Sentence

November 1, 2021:

Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board Again Recommends Commuting Julius Jones’ Death Sentence
The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board has for a second time recommended that Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt grant clemency to death-row prisoner Julius Jones.
Following a hearing on November 1, 2021, the board, citing doubts about Jones’ guilt, voted 3-1 to ask Stitt to commute his death sentence to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole. Jones, who is Black, is scheduled to be executed November 18 on charges that he murdered Paul Howell, a white businessman, in 1999. His case has garnered worldwide attention amidst evidence of racial bias, incompetent representation, and possible innocence.
Testifying by video conference, Jones told the board: “First, I feel for the Howell family, for the tragic loss of Mr. Paul Howell, who I’ve heard was a caring and all-around good person. … Second, I am not the person responsible for taking Mr. Howell’s life. … Truth is,” Jones said, “I didn’t shoot that man. I didn’t kill Mr. Paul Howell. I wasn’t involved in it in any way.”
Board members Adam Luck, Larry Morris, and Kelly Doyle voted in favor of recommending commutation, while Richard Smothermon voted against clemency.
Board member Scott Williams recused himself from the decision to avoid any appearance of conflict arising out of a professional relationship with one of Jones’ lawyers in an unrelated matter.
The governor’s office issued a short statement saying that “Governor Stitt is aware of the Pardon and Parole Board’s vote.” The statement did not address the substance of the board’s recommendation, adding only “Our office will not offer further comment until the governor has made a final decision.”
Jones’ case gathered widespread attention after an ABC documentary series, with millions signing an online petition asking Stitt to prevent his execution. He is part of an ongoing lawsuit, challenging the constitutionality of Oklahoma’s lethal injection methods. However, the U.S. Supreme Court on October 28, 2021 vacated a stay of execution that would have halted his execution pending the outcome of a federal trial on the constitutionality of the state’s execution process. That trial is scheduled to being in February 2022. The Supreme Court order also vacated a stay for Oklahoma death-row prisoner John Grant, who was executed on October 28. According to media eyewitnesses, Grant suffered more than two dozen full-body convulsions and vomited several times over a 15-minute period during the execution before he was declared unconscious, injected with the second and third drugs in the state’s execution protocol, and died.

Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board Again Recommends Commuting Julius Jones’ Death Sentence | Death Penalty Information Center

(Source: DPIC, 01/11/2021)

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