He has been on “death row” for 22 years, while always claiming his innocence. He was scheduled to be executed by injection of poison on November 18 at 4 pm local time.
The governor of Oklahoma had the last word. Julius Jones’ life was saved just hours before the execution, he writes AP.
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Seit has sentenced the 41-year-old to life in prison.
– After careful review of the material presented by all parties in this case, I have decided to convert Julius Jones’ sentence to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, Set said in a press release.
day to celebrate
Many Jones supporters burst into cheers and applause outside the Oklahoma State Capitol when the decision was announced. More than 100 people gathered outside McAllister Prison.
– Today is the day of celebration. Reverend Keith Gossel, Jones’ attorney, said it’s a day to recognize all the people who have come together to fight for Julius.
Jones’ mother also spoke up after the announcement.
“For more than 20 years, I was terrified by the idea of seeing my son DL in the death row for a murder that happened while he was at home with the family,” said Madeline Davis-Jones.
The mother also says that she will never give up the struggle to free her son.
Earlier, the Oklahoma Board of Pardons called for Jones to be moved to life in prison with the possibility of a three-to-one leave, according to the Associated Press.
Several council members then expressed doubts that the evidence Jones was convicted for was good enough, he writes Washington Post.
The planned execution sparked strong reactions and protests in several places.
The victim of the 1999 murder was Paul Howell. His wife and two daughters testified that he was shot in the driveway of his car. They described the perpetrator as a black man wearing shorts with a red tie around his face.
Jones was arrested three days later. He was 19 years old at the time. The Howells were always sure that the right man had been convicted of the murder.
Jones has received support from a number of high-profile celebrities, such as Kim Kardashian West, and more than 6.4 million people have signed a petition to pardon him, according to CNN.
It is ultimately up to the governor of Oklahoma to decide whether Jones will be transferred to life imprisonment or whether he will be executed as planned.
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