Julius Jones execution looming as governor holds off on clemency decision

by 24USATVNov. 16, 2021, 7 p.m. 18
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OKLAHOMA CITY — Time is running out for Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt to announce a decision in the case of death row inmate Julius Jones.

Jones is scheduled to be executed on Thursday as the decision to grant him clemency rests with Stitt.

The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board twice recommended sparing Jones's life, most recently recommending clemency at a hearing on Nov. 1.

Jones's mother, Madeline Davis-Jones, visited the Capitol along with supporters and members of the House Black Caucus to formally request a meeting with the governor on Monday. They were eventually told that there wouldn’t be a meeting after several hours outside Stitt's office.

"God brought my beautiful, wonderful son here and it’s his responsibility to take my son," Davis-Jones said.

"And I’m believing in God and trusting in God."

Jones, 41, is facing execution after his conviction in the 1999 shooting death of Edmond businessman Paul Howell during a carjacking. Jones says he is innocent and that he was framed by the actual killer, a high school friend and co-defendant who testified against Jones and was released from prison after 15 years.

State and county prosecutors have said the evidence against Jones is overwhelming. Trial transcripts show a witness identified Jones as the shooter and placed him with Howell’s stolen vehicle. Investigators also found the murder weapon and a bandana with Jones’s DNA in an attic space above his bedroom. Jones claims the murder weapon was placed there by the actual killer, who visited Jones’s house after Howell was shot.

Thursday's execution is the second since the state ended its moratorium following multiple botched executions several years ago.

The state executed John Marion Grant on Oct. 28 in a procedure that the state says had no issues, but saw Grant convulse and vomit in the process.

Stitt spokesman Charlie Hannema didn’t answer questions about whether the governor planned to meet with Jones’s supporters on Monday, but attorneys for Jones have said they met with Stitt last week.

“The governor takes his role in this process seriously and is carefully considering the Pardon and Parole Board’s recommendation as he does in all cases,” Hannema said in a statement.
• None Lack of notice from PSO causes concern for a Broken Arrow family

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