As it happenedended1637273522

Julius Jones: Kim Kardashian reveals details of phone call as Oklahoma governor halts execution

Jones will not be executed, but will also be ineligible for further sentence reductions

Julius Jones supporters gather outside Oklahoma governor’s house ahead of execution

Julius Jones’ life was spared just hours before he was set to be executed.

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt issued a statement just before 1:20pm EST announcing that he will commute Jones’ sentence to life in prison without the possibility for parole. He also noted in the statement that in doing so, he is removing Jones’ eligibility for any further reduction in his sentence.

“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,” Mr Stitt said in the statement.

After the announcement, Kim Kardashian, who had been a vocal proponent for Jones, revealed that she spoke with Jones on a phone call hours before his execution. She said he refused anti-anxiety medication common for death row inmates facing execution because of his “clear conscience.”

Earlier in the day, Jones’ attorneys filed an emergency injunction hoping to halt his execution, arguing that the state’s recent lethal injections have been riddled with problems that cause lingering, torturous pain and suffering for the inmates sentenced to death. The attorneys hope that by proving that Oklahoma’s lethal injections qualify as “cruel and unusual punishment” they can at least buy their client more time.

Mr Stitt also faced international pressure after the European Union’s ambassador to the US penned a letter calling on him to stop the execution. A petition against the execution has garnered more than 6 million signatures.

Jones, 41, has spent more than half of his life in prison after he was charged and convicted of the murder of Paul Howell during a 1999 carjacking. He has maintained that he is innocent of the crime and was framed by his then-friend and co-defendant, who allegedly actually shot Mr Howell.

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Julius Jones on ‘death watch’ as authorities prepare last meal

Julius Jones’s execution is set for 4pm on Thursday, 18 November, and Oklahoma corrections officials have now put him under the state’s “death watch” protocols.

He’s now under constant surveillance in a room lit 24/7, owing to security concerns, and his personally belongings beside the bare minimum have been boxed up in preparation to send to his family. On Wednesday night he will eat his last meal.

Oklahoma has a checkered history of botched executions in recent years, with inmates like John Grant visibly suffering, while others were given the wrong drugs. Part of the death watch protocol involves officials double-checking they’ve got the right lethal injection chemicals on hand.

Oklahoma defends first execution in six years, while critics say it was ‘torture’

Oklahoma hadn’t executed anyone in six years, after a series of botched killings in 2014 and 2015, writes Josh Marcus

Even if officials do have the proper drugs, the state’s execution method has proved controversial, with a number of Oklahoma death row inmates suing and arguing that they cause unnecessary pain.

Oklahoma resumes lethal injections that ‘burn men alive’ this week – seven men to die

Oklahoma inmates have been waging a constitutional challenge against the state’s death penalty since 2014. Now, after a six-year pause, executions are set to resume. Josh Marcus writes

On the day of the execution, Jones will be allowed to briefly visit with his attorneys, and will be offered the chance to speak his last words.

Josh Marcus18 November 2021 01:15
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‘Julius will not be alone’: vigils planned for Julius Jone execution day

Activists are planning vigils for Julius Jones at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, where he is set to be executed on Thursday afternoon, as well outside Oklahoma governor Kevin Stitt’s office.

As Justice for Julius activist Jess Eddy put it on Twitter on Wednesday, “Julius will not be alone.”

Josh Marcus18 November 2021 01:45
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Amanda Knox: ‘Please show some compassion'

Amanda Knox has called on Governor Stitt to “show some compassion, humanity, courage, and reason”.

Josh Marcus18 November 2021 02:10
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ICYMI: Jones and his family share final moments as hope fades of execution stay

Julius Jones’s family visited him for the last time on Wednesday, the day before he is scheduled to be executed at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary unless governor Oklahoma governor Kevin Stitt calls it off.

Here’s The Independent’s dispatch on the high-profile inmates final full day behind bars ahead of his potential execution.

‘I feel invisible’: Julius Jones and his family share last moments as execution nears

Oklahoma death row inmate has now been moved to “death watch”

Josh Marcus18 November 2021 02:30
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Mississippi witnesses first execution since 2012

Even as calls for clemency for Julius Jones gain momentum around the world, Mississippi state witnessed its first execution since 2012 yesterday evening.

David Neal Cox was pronounced dead by state officials at 6.12pm on Wednesday at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman.

In 2012, Cox pleaded guilty to the capital murder of his wife, Kim Kirk Cox and several other charges including sexually assaulting his step-daughter.

Cox had also called himself “worthy of death” in court papers after a jury handed him the death sentence.

Burl Cain, the Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner, said that Cox’s last words were for his children.

Mr Cain said that Cox told him: “I want my children to know that I love them very much and that I was a good man at one time. Don’t ever read anything but the King James Bible. I want to thank the commissioner for being so very kind to me. And that’s all I got to say.”

Cox’s family has stayed silent over his execution and also didn’t attend the execution.

Mr Cain said: “We don’t know of any comment they want to make. If they wanted to make a comment, they would be here, I suppose.”

Maroosha Muzaffar18 November 2021 05:02
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Spain joins the list of European countries calling for clemency for Julius Jones

Spain became the latest European nation to join other EU countries in their calls for clemency.

The ambassadors of France, Belgium, and Denmark have already joined the EU call for clemency for Julius Jones.

Robert Dunham, the executive director of Death Penalty Information Centre confirmed this in a tweet.

He tweeted: “Spain has now joined the list of European countries calling for clemency for #JuliusJones. @SpainMFA @EUintheUS @EUAmbUS @GovStitt @justice4julius @DPInfoCtr #Oklahoma #deathpenalty”

Jones, 41, was sentenced to death by lethal injection for the 1999 murder of a businessman, Paul Howell, during a carjacking.

Meanwhile, governor Kevin Stitt has not said anything about granting clemency to Jones.

There is a growing clamour around this execution that is scheduled for Thursday, with many organisations and public figures throwing their weight behind the cause.

Maroosha Muzaffar18 November 2021 05:47
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60% of Oklahoma city voters support commuting Julius Jones’ death sentence

A survey by the Death Penalty Information Centre revealed earlier this year that “60 per cent of those who said they knew anything about the case of death-row prisoner Julius Jones believe Oklahoma authorities should commute his death sentence.”

The centre conducted a survey of 500 registered voters in Oklahoma between 24 - 28 June this year and said that the awareness of the death row case had “significantly” increased in the state.

The 41-year-old Julius Jones was sentenced to death for murdering a businessman — Paul Howell — in 1999 during a carjacking.

Meanwhile, till 17 November this year, ten prisoners have been executed in the United States by federal and state governments.

Maroosha Muzaffar18 November 2021 06:41
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David Cox’s stepdaughter speaks of the moment Cox killed her mother

The 23-year-old stepdaughter of David Cox, who was executed in Mississippi on Wednesday, recalled the painful moment she saw her mother laying on the floor, bleeding after Cox shot her.

Lindsey Kirk was just 8 years old when her mother was murdered by Cox.

Speaking to Associated Press, just a day before he was executed at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman, Ms Kirk said: “When I found out that he was wanting to go ahead and get it (the execution) over with, I wasn’t really happy about it. Like, I kind of just wanted him to sit there. I guess I’m OK with it now.”

Cox, before his execution, had said that he was “worthy of death.”

Recalling the day he shot her mother, Ms Kirk said: “A gunshot came through the screen door, and he ran in and told me not to move.” He then took his stepdaughter there and “Mama was laying on the floor. She was bleeding,” Ms Kirk remembered. Her brother “was balled up in a closet.”

Cox also sexually assaulted her three times in front of her dying mother.

Maroosha Muzaffar18 November 2021 06:56
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Oklahoma high school students stage walkouts as NFL star weighs in on case

Students at high schools across Oklahoma City walked out of their classes in protest against the execution of Julius Jones. Prayer vigils were held at the state Capitol, and barricades were erected outside the governor’s mansion.

NFL star Baker Mayfield, quarterback for the Cleveland Browns also weighed in on Jones’ case urging Republican governor Kevin Stitt to commute his sentence and spare his life. “Yeah, it’s pretty rough, to be honest with you,” Mayfield, a University of Oklahoma alumni said on Wednesday, pausing and his eyes filling with tears. “That’s not something that’s easy to talk about. Been trying to get the facts stated and the truth to be told for a while.

“It’s a shame that it’s gotten this far, 24 hours away,” he added.

Thomas Kingsley18 November 2021 08:33
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Baker Mayfield: ‘Hopefully God can intervene'

A visibly emotional Baker Mayfield told reporters on Wednesday he hopes “God can intervene” in Julius Jones’ case as the inmate is now hours away from execution.

“You know, hopefully, God can intervene, and handle it correctly and do the things he needs to do,” Mayfield said holding back tears.

Baker Mayfield, a Heisman Trophy winner with the University of Oklahoma displayed Jones’ name on the back of his helmet last season in support of the inmate.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield

Thomas Kingsley18 November 2021 08:49

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