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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Alicia Keys joins calls to stop the execution

Award winning singer-songwriter Alicia Keys has also joined calls to for Julius Jones to receive clemency.

In a Twitter post she called on the Oklahoma governor to “stop the execution of Julius Jones.”

Graig Graziosi18 November 2021 14:43
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Julius Jones supporters arrive at state penitentiary

Advocates for Julius Jones began arriving at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary, where Jones is set to be executed today at 4pm.

Supporters - including celebrities, professional athletes, and even foreign countries - have been pushing for Governor Kevin Stitt to stay the execution and commute Jones’ sentence to life in prison.

Graig Graziosi18 November 2021 15:15
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Julius Jones’ lawyer releases statement slamming Governor for silence

Julius Jones’ attorney, Amanda Bass, released a statement slamming Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt for his silence and further calling for her client to be spared the death penalty.

Ms Bass pointed out that the state’s Pardon and Parole Board has not only twice recommended that Jones be granted clemency, but that the board does not have confidence the state can even carry out an execution humanely.

Read her full statement below...

Graig Graziosi18 November 2021 15:56
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British billionaire Richard Branson calls for Julius Jones to be spared

British billionaire business magnate Richard Branson shared a letter on Twitter calling on Governor Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma to spare the life of Julius Jones.

“Governor, it’s no secret where I stand on the death penalty. I know the world would be a better place without it. But no matter what your position, you must agree that no innocent person deserves to die. In Julius’ case, that risk is too great,” Mr Branson wrote. “At this moment, the decision whether a fellow human being will live or die rests solely with you. Please choose life. I respectfully ask that you follow the Board’s recommendation and grant clemency to Julius Jones. It’s the fair and just thing to do.”

You can read his full letter below...

Graig Graziosi18 November 2021 16:23
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Julius Jones attorneys file for emergency injunction to stay execution, arguing Oklahoma’s lethal injection is torture

The attorneys representing Julius Jones and another Oklahoma death row inmate have filed an emergency injunction to halt the executions, arguing that the state’s previously botched executions are evidence that its methods produce “severe pain and suffering” beyond what is permissible under the US Constitution.

The Independent’s Justin Vallejo has more on the injunction in his story below...

Julius Jones lawyers file emergency motion to stop ‘torturous’ execution

Lawyers for Julius Jones have filed an emergency motion in a federal court requesting an injunction to stay his execution today.

Graig Graziosi18 November 2021 16:55
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Students in Oklahoma to stage walkouts in support of Julius Jones

Students in several Oklahoma school districts will stage walkouts in support of Julius Jones.

The students will join the crowded field of celebrities, business leaders, politicians, and international officials calling for Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt to commute Jones’ sentence.

The known participating schools are listed below.

Graig Graziosi18 November 2021 17:56
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Advocates for Julius Jones sing songs and pray at Oklahoma state house

Supporters of Julius Jones in the Oklahoma State Capitol are singing worship songs and praying as the 41-year-old’s execution draws near.

Advocates have been calling on Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt to commute Jones’ sentence, arguing that he is innocent. Jones’ lawyers also filed an emergency injunction today to try to block the execution, arguing that the state’s lethal injection process is rife with problems and violates the US Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishments.

Graig Graziosi18 November 2021 18:13
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Oklahoma Governor commutes Julius Jones’ death sentence

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt released a statement announcing he will commute Julius Jones’ execution, reducing his sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The announcement comes after days of intense pressure from international officials, celebrities, business leaders, politicians and the general public to spare Jones’ life.

The governor noted in his statement that Jones will not be eligible for further clemency.

The Independent’s Josh Marcus has the full story below...

Oklahoma governor stops Julius Jones execution with last-minute decision

Jones will instead get a life sentence without the possibility of parole

Graig Graziosi18 November 2021 18:17
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Julius Jones’ attorney reacts to news her client’s life will be spared

Amanda Bass, the attorney representing Julius Jones, issued a statement following the announcement that Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt will grant Jones clemency, reducing his sentence from death to life in prison without possibility for parole.

“Governor Stitt took an important step today towards restoring public faith in the criminal justice system by ensuring that Oklahoma does not execute an innocent man,” she said. “While we had hoped the Governor would adopt the Board’s recommendation in full by commuting Julius’s sentence to life with the possibility of parole in light of the overwhelming evidence of Julius’s innocence, we are grateful that the Governor has prevented an irreparable mistake.”

Graig Graziosi18 November 2021 18:40
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Advocates of Julius Jones react to news his sentence has been commuted

Video from inside the Oklahoma Capitol caught the moment that advocates for Julius Jones learned the state’s governor was commuting his sentence.

Supporters cheer and gasp after spending days pressuring the governor to spare Jones’ life.

Jones’ sentence has been reduced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Graig Graziosi18 November 2021 18:50

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