Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt has announced that he will grant Julius Jones clemency. However, his decision comes with the condition that Jones may never be “considered for, or receive any additional commutation, pardon, or parole.”
“Pursuant to Article 6, Section 10 of the Oklahoma Constitution, Governor Kevin Stitt today issued Executive Order 2021-25 to commute the death sentence of Julius Jones, who was tried and convicted for the first-degree murder of Paul Howell, to life imprisonment without the possibility for parole, on the condition that he shall never again be eligible to apply for, be considered for, or receive any additional commutation, pardon, or parole,” a statement from the governor’s office reads.
Julius Jones was convicted of the murder of businessman Paul Howell in 1999. Despite his conviction, Stitt has maintained his innocence for more than two decades.
Over time, a number of public figures and entities have also joined the fight to overturn his conviction due to the issues raised with the case. Specifically, an Associated Press report points out that Jones did not match an eyewitness description of the assailant and he had an alibi for the night of the murder. Not to mention, a number of incarcerated individuals have said that Jones’ co-defendant, Christopher Jordan, admitted to committing the murder and framing Jones.
In recent months, a number of public figures ranging from J. Cole to Kim Kardashian have encouraged others to sign petitions calling for Jones’ freedom. More recently, high school students in the greater Oklahoma City area have organized walk outs in an effort to bring awareness to Jones’ fight for freedom. Above all else, the Oklahoma Parole Board voted twice to grant Jones clemency before Stitt finally took action.
Statement from Julius Jones’ attorney pic.twitter.com/PTq64VXAzq
— Carmen Forman (@CarmenMForman) November 18, 2021