Board Recommends Commutation for Julius Jones

Julius Jones prison photo

Julius Jones

An Oklahoma parole board has voted to commute the sentence of 41-year-old dying row inmate Julius Jones for killing a person in entrance of his household throughout a 1999 carjacking, according to local reports.

“I imagine in dying penalty circumstances there needs to be little doubt, and put merely, I’ve doubts on this case,” board Chairman Adam Luck reportedly stated. “I can’t ignore these doubts, particularly when the stakes are life and dying.”

The three-to-1 advice of the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole places Jones’s destiny earlier than Gov. Kevin Stitt (R), whose willpower will probably be carefully watched by dying penalty opponents, a number of celebrities, and plenty of in most people.

Stitt’s workplace stated he’s nonetheless contemplating his choice on what to do.

“The governor takes his function on this course of significantly and can fastidiously contemplate the Pardon and Parole Board’s advice as he does in all circumstances,” the workplace stated in a press release to KOCO. “We is not going to have any additional remark till the governor has decided.”

Jones’ case is a trigger célébre, with individuals highlighting his alibi for that July 28, 1999, when authorities said someone shot and killed Howell in front of his sister and two young daughters, and stole his SUV. Excessive profile supporters embody late present host James Corden, actuality tv star Kim Kardashian, {and professional} athletes Russell Westbrook and Blake Griffin.

His household stated he was at his dad and mom’ dwelling. His trial protection confronted criticism for failing to have them testify. Julius’ youthful sister Antoinette Jones stated they’d dinner, performed monopoly, and stated he received mad about their brother consuming most of his leftover birthday cake.

“I bear in mind as a result of he was pacing, saying, ‘I can’t imagine he ate my cake, he’s all the time consuming my stuff. I can’t wait to inform Momma,”” Antoinette Jones informed The Washington Post.

Paul’s daughter Rachel Howell, who witnessed the homicide as a baby, stated Jones is responsible.

“These celebrities and influencers don’t hassle to achieve out to us about it. I feel the factor that’s most irritating about all that is you affect your followers,” she informed KFOR in a brand new report. “If you happen to’re a celeb, an influencer, an athlete, you might have a number of followers who look as much as you. I feel the one factor I need these celebrities to know is to consider the sufferer’s household. Take the time to a minimum of have a look at each side. You don’t have all the data.”

The workplace of Oklahoma Lawyer Normal Mike Hunter has argued towards Jones’ alibi, saying it lacks credibility and that there’s proof the defendant himself contradicted it. From July 2020:

Jones claims his legal professionals didn’t current his household as alibi witnesses. Nonetheless, this alibi was totally investigated, and discredited. Jones’ then-girlfriend, Analiese Presley, testified at trial that Jones informed her he was someplace “on the south aspect [of Oklahoma City]” when Paul Howell was murdered … In his direct attraction, Jones alleged that his trial attorneys ought to have known as his relations to testify that he was at dwelling on the time of the homicide. The Oklahoma Court docket of Felony Appeals ordered an evidentiary listening to on this declare. On the listening to, the State proved that Jones’ attorneys totally investigated this doable alibi—together with talking with Jones’ dad and mom and sister, Jones himself, and a pal named B.C. whom Jones’ dad and mom stated was additionally current—and selected to not elevate it for 2 main causes … First, David McKenzie and Malcolm Savage each testified that Jones repeatedly informed them his household was mistaken and he was not at dwelling on the evening of the homicide … Jones was “unequivocal that he was not at dwelling along with his dad and mom, as his dad and mom had described, with regard to the night that Mr. Howell was murdered.”

[Prison photo via Oklahoma Department of Corrections]

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