Julius Jones’ sister pleads with Gov. Stitt for clemency

Banfield

OKLAHOMA CITY (NewsNation Now) — Supporters of death row inmate Julius Jones, including Jones’ sister, Antoinette Jones, visited the state Capitol on Monday with hopes of meeting Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt.

Julius Jones’ mother, Madeline Davis-Jones met briefly with several House Democrats before walking to Stitt’s office. An official with the Republican governor’s office said Stitt wasn’t available and asked Davis-Jones to fill out a form for visitors.

Jones, 41, is scheduled to be executed Thursday for the 1999 shooting death of Edmond businessman Paul Howell during a carjacking. Jones maintains he is innocent and claims he was framed by the actual killer, a high school friend and co-defendant who testified against Jones and was released from prison after 15 years.

State and county prosecutors have said the evidence against Jones is overwhelming. Trial transcripts show witnesses identified Jones as the shooter and placed him with Howell’s stolen vehicle. Investigators also found the murder weapon and a bandanna with Jones’ DNA in an attic space above his bedroom. Jones claims the murder weapon was placed there by the actual killer, who visited Jones’ house after Howell was shot.

The state’s Pardon and Parole Board voted 3-1 to recommend Stitt grant clemency to Jones and commute his sentence to life in prison.

Still, however, Jones has not been granted clemency. Antoinette Jones said he is frustrated.

“He is frustrated that it’s taking this long for the governor to make a decision,” she said. “Julius is currently on deathwatch, which means he has lights on him 24/7 … he has limited supplies.”

Antoinette is still hopeful that her brother’s life will be spared.

“We are optimistic and hopeful that [Gov. Stitt will grant clemency]. There’s so much reasonable doubt that evidence is pointing away from Julius,” she said.

Oklahoma ended a six-year moratorium on executions — brought on by concerns over its methods — last month. John Marion Grant, 60, convulsed and vomited as he was being put to death Oct. 28. It’s not clear yet why Grant vomited, but medical experts agreed that the dosage of the sedative midazolam that Oklahoma and other states use in their execution protocols is massive compared with what’s standard in surgeries.

Grant was the first person in Oklahoma to be executed since a series of flawed lethal injections in 2014 and 2015.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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