Julius Jones was convicted of first-degree murder in 2002 and had been scheduled to die by lethal injection on Thursday.

“After prayerful consideration and reviewing materials presented by all sides of this case, I have determined to commute Julius Jones’s sentence to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole,” Gov. Kevin Stitt said in a statement.

The man, Julius Jones, was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death in 2002. He was found guilty of killing Paul Howell, who was in a car in the driveway of his parents’ home when he was carjacked and fatally shot in 1999. The commutation came less than a month after the Supreme Court, with its three more liberal members dissenting, lifted a stay of execution that a federal appeals court had granted to Mr. Jones and another Oklahoma death row inmate, John Marion Grant, who was executed last month.

Mr. Jones, 41, a former high school basketball player from Oklahoma City, was 19 at the time of the killing, which he says he did not commit. Mr. Howell, a businessman from the suburb of Edmond, was 45.

Read more

© Copyright LaPresse