As the clock winds down, all eyes are on Oklahoma’s Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt Thursday as the life of one incarcerated man lies in his hands.
The execution of Julius Jones is scheduled for 4 p.m. CT Thursday, according to reports from the state Department of Corrections.
Jones is behind bars for the murder of Paul Howell, a business man who shot to death more than two decades ago. Jones was found guilty of Howell’s murder, but has maintained his innocence this whole time.
The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted 3-1 November 1 to recommend granting clemency to Jones on November 1. The same board also recommended commuting his sentence in September.
This case has garnered national attention from celebrities and millions of others around the country.
In a news conference Wednesday, Jones’ mother, Madeline Davis-Jones, begged for a fair trial.
“If you think Julius is guilty, give him a fair trial. Do it over again, do it right!” Davis-Jones said to a full crowd. “If my child is executed tomorrow or any day, it should be without a doubt. Not even a little bit of doubt.”
Gov. Stitt has not said whether or not he will accept the clemency motion. A petition has circulated and accumulated more than 6.5 million signatures to grant Jones clemency.
What is the crime in question
More than 20 years ago, a 19-year-old Jones was sentenced for the 1999 murder of Paul Howell, who was shot and killed during a carjacking with his sister and two daughters in the car. Jones and his attorneys continue to say he his innocent.
If Gov. Stitt grants clemency, Jones’ sentenced will be commuted to life in prison with the possibility of parole.