Panel Recommends Commuting Death Sentence of Julius Jones in 1999 Oklahoma Murder Case

Julius Jones was convicted and sentenced to die for the 1999 shooting death of insurance executive Paul Howell. (Oklahoma Department of Corrections via AP file)

The death penalty case of Julius Jones, which has caught the attention of people across the country, including multiple celebrities, was recommended for commutation by the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board on Monday. It is now up to Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt whether to change Jones’ sentence to something other than death.

“I believe in death penalty cases there should be no doubt, and put simply, I have doubts in this case,” board Chairman Adam Luck said. “I cannot ignore those doubts, especially when the stakes are life and death.”

The board voted 3-1, with a fifth member recusing himself, in favor of Jones’ commutation.

“I don’t have a lot of words, I’m just thanking God,” Antoinette Jones, Julius Jones’ younger sister, said moments after the board’s decision as she and her family headed to their church to pray.

Carly Atchison, a spokeswoman for Stitt, said the governor “takes his role in this process seriously and will carefully consider the Pardon and Parole Board’s recommendation as he does in all cases.”

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SOURCE: NBC News, Graham Lee Brewer

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