Julius Jones

Julius Jones, 40, was convicted by a jury and sentenced to death by the jury in 2002 for killing 45-year-old businessman Paul Howell, an insurance executive, during a carjacking in 1999. Howell was gunned down on July 28, 1999, in his parents' driveway in Edmond after a back-to-school shopping trip with his daughters. His 1997 GMC Suburban was stolen. Three suspects were interviewed and their statements led Edmond Police to track down Julius Jones and his high school basketball teammate Christopher Jordan as the alleged carjackers who murdered Howell. Following a plea agreement Christopher Jordan was supposed to spend 30 years in prison in exchange for his testimony after an agreement was made, but he ended up walking free after serving only half that time. As a death row inmate, it was unclear until last year whether his case could even be heard by the Oklahoma state Pardon and Parole Board. Board members posed the question last summer to Attorney General Mike Hunter, who eventually replied that former AG Scott Pruitt had issued an opinion that while death row inmates could not be paroled, there were 'no limits' on commutation power. Julius Jones is eligible for a Stage 1 review, where the board takes a brief look at his case and determines the qualifications for commutation and votes on whether to pass him to Stage 2. A Stage 2 review allows for a deeper look at the case by the board and if a majority of the Board favors commutation the inmate then has their case sent to Gov. Kevin Stitt, who has the final say on whether or not to commute the sentence.