OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Gov. Kevin Stitt commuted Julius Jones’ death sentence to life in prison without parole as Jones’ execution for the 1999 murder of Paul Howell came within hours of being carried out.
“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,” said Gov. Stitt.
Pursuant to that provision, the Governor has ordered that Jones shall not be eligible to apply for or be considered for a commutation, pardon, or parole for the remainder of his life.
The family of Paul Howell released the following statement regarding today’s commutation announcement:
“We know Governor Stitt had a difficult decision to make. We take comfort that his decision affirmed the guilt of Julius Jones and that he shall not be eligible to apply for, or be considered for, a commutation, pardon or parole for the remainder of his life.Howell family
We would like to thank the countless people in the Oklahoma Attorney General’s office, the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office and law enforcement agencies across the state for their tireless efforts and unwavering support for the last 22 years.
Julius Jones forever changed our lives and the lives of his family and friends.”
Jones was convicted in 2002 of murdering Howell, an Edmond businessman who was shot to death in the driveway of his parents’ Edmond home in July 1999.