Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt Licensing Julius Jones Clemency
In a past life, Julius Jones was a general guard who turned down invitations from small colleges to play basketball and soccer. according to ESPN and chose to attend the University of Oklahoma on an academic scholarship to the school’s College of Engineering.
After completing his first year in 1998, he planned move on and join the basketball team in the fall of 1999. He never got a chance, was arrested three days after his 19th birthday, suspected and eventually convicted in 2002 of first-degree murder for the murder of Edmond, Oklahoma businessman Paul Howell in a car robbery.
Nearly 20 years later, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt granted Julius Jones leniency, reduced his death sentence on Thursday to life in prison without the possibility of pardon, according to a executive order filled on the same day.
The governor’s decision comes just hours before Jones is scheduled to be executed at 4pm CT after years of protests and public pressure to give him the death sentence.
Follow Washington Post, the Oklahoma Board of Amnesty and Amnesty twice recommended that Jones’ sentence be reduced to life in prison with the possibility of parole as recently as Nov. 1. Jones’ family and supporters hope he can be released after serving his sentence. However, since Stitt decided to turn down the state’s pardon and pardon board proposal, Jones is likely never to get out of prison.
In his executive orderStitt said neither the constitution nor state law give the board the power to propose such a transition, nor do they give the governor the power. As a result, the governor reduced Jones’ sentence on the condition that he “will not be eligible to apply for or be considered for a pardon, pardon or pardon for the rest of his life,” according to the order. .
Jones has maintained his innocence from death row inmates for more than two decades, saying he was framed by the real killer, a high school friend and a former accomplice who were key witnesses against him. ta. The Howel family has categorically denied Jones’ innocence, and, along with the state Attorney General’s Office, has refuted the evidence cited by Jones and his supporters.
Jones was serving nearly 20 years on the death row when his case gained renewed national attention in 2018, when an ABC documentary series, “The Last Defense,” highlight his case.
Since then, more than 6 million people have signed Recommendations Change.org asked Stitt to stop Jones’ execution due to scrutiny surrounding his conviction. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr tweeted a video in support of Jones.
NBA stars have relationships with Oklahoma like Russell Westbrook, Blake Griffin, Trae Young, and Buddy Hield expressed support for Jones in addition to write letter to the governor’s office. Each letter highlights a key issue that led to Jones’ conviction, racial prejudice, a flawed investigation, and an ill-equipped defense.
“[Jones’] trust has been tainted by a deeply flawed process,” said Westbrook, former face of the Oklahoma City Thunder and current Laker, wrote in his letter. “As more details come to light regarding his plight, I join with many voices to express sadness and deep concern about his death sentence.”
There is growing scrutiny around the suspicious evidence gathered and racial bias against Jones, as well as questions about Jones’ alibi that he was at home the night of the incident. murder. A red bandana was found inside Jones’ famous home with the murder weapon wrapped around it. There is also the question of whether a DNA test is performed at the request of the defense.
“You are not given a fair chance; Blake Griffin says ESPN. “Let alone the general life growing up of a minority in a predominantly white state. I hate to say that if he was empty-handed it would be different, but there’s still a chance.”
https://www.slamonline.com/nba/julius-jones-death-sentence-reduced-to-life-in-prison/ Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt Licensing Julius Jones Clemency