Julius Jones will no longer be on death row. It was announced that Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt has commuted his sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
This move came after protesters took action in defense of Jones days before his scheduled execution which was set to happen at 5 pm on Thursday at the State Penitentiary in McAlester.
“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,” Stitt said in a statement.
Jones was convicted for the 1999 murder of Paul Howell and has maintained his innocence for nearly two decades. Attorneys representing Jones filed a motion seeking an injunction to halt his death due to important new evidence.
They argued that the recent execution of another inmate, John Grant, who vomited and convulsed before being declared dead was enough evidence to move to have Jones’ execution halted.