Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt announced Tuesday (September 27) that he won't be accepting the state Pardon and Parole Board's recommendation to commute Julius Jones' death sentence.
According to The Oklahoman, Stitt said in his announcement that he won't make a final decision on Julius Jones' death sentence until after a clemency hearing scheduled for October 26.
"I am not accepting the Pardon and Parole Board's recommendation to commute the sentence of Julius Jones because clemency hearing, not a commutation hearing, is the appropriate venue for our state to consider death row cases," Stitt said.
"Clemency hearings are more intensive and thorough than a commutation hearing and include the option for the inmate to speak publicly before the Pardon and Parole Board as well as the victim's family and attorneys from both sides," Stitt said in his statement.
Commutation would reduce Jones' sentence to life in prison with the chance of parole.
"The precedent in Oklahoma is for death row inmates to receive the clemency hearings to which they are entitled prior to their execution date."
At his 2002 trial, jurors chose the death sentence for Jones for the 1999 shooting death of Paul Howell.
Jones' execution has been scheduled for November 18, despite the board's recommendation to commute Jones' death sentence. Jones has maintained his innocence in the crime.
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