Oklahoma Governor Postpones Travel Decision Julius Jones | New policies
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt said on Tuesday he would not decide to spare Julius Jones a deadly injection until Jones had a pardon hearing before the Pardons Commission and state parole.
The council had previously recommended that Stitt commute Jones’ death sentence to life imprisonment. The case gained national attention after it was featured in the 2018 ABC television documentary series “The Last Defense”.
In a Tuesday statement, however, the Republican governor said a pardon hearing, not a commutation hearing, would be the appropriate forum for death row cases.
“Clemency hearings are more intensive and in-depth than a commutation hearing and include the opportunity for the inmate to speak publicly before the Pardons and Parole Board, as well as the victim’s family and lawyers on both sides.” , said Stitt. “The precedent in Oklahoma is that death row inmates receive pardon hearings to which they are entitled before their execution date.
Jones’ attorney did not immediately return a message requesting comment.
State law requires pardon hearings at least 21 days before the scheduled execution date. Jones is due to die on November 18.
The case has caught the attention of reality TV star Kim Kardashian West and many professional athletes linked to Oklahoma, who have asked for clemency.
Jones, 41, has always maintained that he was innocent of the murder and alleged that he was trapped by the actual killer, a high school friend and former co-accused who was a key witness against him.
Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater, where the murder took place, and former Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter said the evidence against Jones was overwhelming.
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