Watch Now: Governor commutes Julius Jones' death sentence

From Staff Reports

Demonstrators at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary react as Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt commutes Julius Jones’ death sentence. Gov. Stitt commuted Jones’ sentence to life without the possibility of parole.

OKLAHOMA CITY — Gov. Kevin Stitt on Thursday spared the life of high-profile death-row inmate Julius Jones just hours before his execution was scheduled to take place.

Jones’ death sentence was commuted to life without the possibility of parole.

“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 single-sentence statement included with the announcement of his decision.

The governor ordered that Jones not be eligible to apply for or be considered for a further commutation, pardon or parole for the remainder of his life.

Jones, 41, was set to die by lethal injection at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester for the 1999 shooting death of Paul Howell of Edmond in front of his two daughters and sister. Howell’s vehicle was stolen, and he was run over in his parents’ driveway after having been shot.

In a statement, the Howell family said

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