Oklahoma Parole Board recommends pardon for Julius Jones before his scheduled execution

TSR UPDATE: Supporters of Julius Jones and his family are celebrating today after the Oklahoma pardon and parole board recommended pardoning Julius, who a few weeks away from being executed for a murder he said he didn’t.

Towards the end of September, TSR Investigators brought you the story of Julius Jones. He was 19 when he was arrested in 1999 for the murder of Oklahoma businessman Paul Howell and has been on death row since his conviction in 2002.

Julius, his family and supporters argue that there is strong evidence to prove he was wrongly convicted and the board agreed, recommending a 3-1 vote Monday to reduce Julius’s sentence to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole, CNN reported.

“My son Julius has been on death row for more than twenty years for a murder he didn’t commit, and every day of it has been a nightmare for my family,” Madeleine Davis-Jones said in a statement through their attorney. “I am grateful to the Apology and Parole Board for again showing their willingness to hear the facts and arguments, to show compassion and to do what they can to correct this terrible mistake. Now, I’m asking Government State to accept their recommendation and do the same. “

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt has made the final decision on Jones’ fate. His office told CNN he was aware of the board’s move and would not comment further until it made its decision.

Julius Paul Howell is scheduled to be executed Nov. 18 for the murder of his sister and two young daughters who were present when he was shot dead in the driveway of his parents’ home.

Julius’s apology lists a number of reasons for his innocence, including “fundamental disruptions to the decision-making system,” such as his crimes as ineffective and inexperienced defense attorneys, racial bias in his jury, and alleged prosecution misconduct.

The same parole board recommended reducing his sentence in September.

“The amnesty and parole board has now twice voted to reduce the death sentence of Julius Jones, acknowledging the serious wrongdoing that led to his conviction and execution. We hope the governor will exercise his authority to accept the State Board’s recommendation and ensure that Oklahoma does not execute an innocent person, ”said Amanda Bass, chief counsel for Julius Jones.

On the other hand, Howell’s family and the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office have rejected Julius’ innocent claim and believe he is guilty. In an earlier statement to CNN, Howell’s daughter, Rachel Julius, called the details of the case “completely false” and showed evidence that she was guilty.

Finally, the amnesty decision rests with the governor, who in a letter to the parole board last month said he would not make a decision based on Julius Jones’ recommendation to reduce his sentence, saying instead a pardon hearing would be “appropriate place to consider his case.”

We will keep you posted on any updates.

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