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Oklahoma Pardon And Parole Board Votes To Hold Enhanced Second Commutation Hearing In Julius Jones Case

Pardon and Parole Board members have drastically increased the number of recommendations for commutations and paroles in the last year.
Quinton Chandler
StateImpact Oklahoma
Julius Jones
Julius Jones

The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted Monday to give death row prisoner Julius Jones a longer second stage commutation hearing to better understand the details of his case.

Jones was convicted of murdering Edmond man Paul Howell in 1999. Jones claims he is innocent.

The board already voted to move Julius Jones to the second round of their process. Then the board postponed Jones’ hearing to give him a chance to have an enhanced one.

The enhancement will allow groups supporting and opposing Jones’ commutation more time to speak than is normally allowed. It’s a new option the board approved, largely to accommodate the complex nature of death penalty cases.

Board Chair Adam Luck said each group will have 30 minutes to present their case.

"So, that will be 30 minutes for the victims and representatives, 30 minutes for the district attorney's office and 30 minutes for the individual and their representation as well," said Luck.

The same accommodation will be available in future commutation hearings at the board’s discretion after a list of new rules approved by the board takes effect in early September.

Jones’ hearing is scheduled for Sept. 13.

Jones' case has attracted the attention of criminal justice advocates and celebrities who want to see him released from death row.

StateImpact Oklahoma is a partnership of Oklahoma’s public radio stations which relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online.

Quinton joined the team at StateImpact Oklahoma in 2017, focusing on criminal justice reporting. He is an OSU grad with degrees in Economics and Marketing who got his start in radio at KOSU. After graduation, Quinton served as Morning Edition Host/General Assignment Reporter at KBBI Radio in Homer, Alaska and Education Reporter at KTOO Public Media in Juneau, Alaska. Quinton loves writing, reading and has an intense relationship with his Netflix account.
StateImpact Oklahoma reports on education, health, environment, and the intersection of government and everyday Oklahomans. It's a reporting project and collaboration of KGOU, KOSU, KWGS and KCCU, with broadcasts heard on NPR Member stations.
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