Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt granted clemency to death row inmate Julius Jones reducing his sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole just hours before his scheduled execution. Jones had been on death row in Oklahoma for almost 20 years for a 1999 murder of a white insurance executive, though he’s maintained his innocence. The high-profile case has caught the attention of individuals nationwide, drawing in support from notable names like Viola Davis, Kim Kardashian West and Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.
“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,” Stitt said in a statement.
In November, the Pardon and Parole Board voted 3-1 to recommend clemency with a life with parole option. However, as a condition of the clemency, Gov. Stitt ordered that Jones never be eligible to apply for or be considered for a commutation, pardon, or parole for the rest of his life.