- Julius Jones was released from death row hours before his execution.
- As it stands, he will now serve life in prison without the possibility of parole, per Gov. Stitt.
- Jones says he didn’t commit the crime and his sister said his family will continue trying to free him.
One day after Gov. Kevin Stitt commuted former death-row inmate Julius Jones’s sentence just hours before his scheduled execution, his sister told Insider that it wasn’t enough.
“While we are grateful that Governor Stitt did not execute Julius, the fact is he is in prison serving a life sentence for a crime he did not commit,” Antoinette Jones said in an emailed statement to Insider on Friday.
Julius Jones has been on death row since his conviction in 2002 for the 1999 killing of Paul Howell — a crime he insists he did not commit. Jones’s family says he was at home at the time of Howell’s death, but they were not called to the stand as witnesses during the trial, NBC News reported.
After reviewing his case, Oklahoma’s Pardon and Parole Board recommended that Jones be granted clemency with the possibility of parole. However, the final decision rested in the governor’s hands, NBC News reported.
“After prayerful consideration and reviewing materials presented by all sides of this case, I have determined to commute Julius Jones’ sentence to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole,” the governor said in a statement right before his execution.
Jones had to follow all procedures required of death row inmates prior to their state execution — including final statement and last meal.
This means that, as it stands, Jones will spend the remainder of his life in prison without the opportunity for a parole hearing on his release, per Stitt’s executive order.
Kelli Masters, an attorney that spoke in support of Jones’ clemency at the hearing, previously told Insider that Jones was prohibited from going outside and communicating or seeing outsiders — besides attorneys or prison staff.
He will now be moved to a different prison under conditions instead of his “solitary confinement situation,” Masters told Insider.
“We aren’t yet sure what our legal options are or what the path forward looks like, but we are still committed to bringing Julius home and we will never give up that fight,” Jones’s sister added.
Stitt’s office did not respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Courtesy By INSIDER