The Oklahoma Legislative Black Caucus applauded the decision by the governor to commute the death sentence of Julius Jones.
The convicted murder was scheduled to be executed on Thursday, but Gov. Kevin Stitt’s executive order commuting the Jones death sentence to life without the possibility of parole was issued just four hours before the scheduled execution.
State Rep. Jason Lowe (Dem., Oklahoma City), chairman of the caucus, said the caucus is grateful for the decision.
“I am filled with joy knowing that Julius Jones no longer faces execution and will live to see more days,” State Rep. Lowe said.
“I would also like to thank everyone that has used their voice in support of Julius Jones,” the caucus chairman added.
“My heart continues to ache for the Howell family as they process this decision,” he went on. “I am praying for the continued healing and strength of both the Howell and Jones families.”
State Rep. Monroe Nichols (Dem., Tulsa), vice chairman of the caucus, was also supportive of the decision.
“I join the Jones family and the voices of advocacy from all over the world in celebration that Julius Jones’ life was spared,” State Rep. Nichols commented.
“Where there is doubt, there can not be state-sanctioned murder. I am also holding the Howell family close today, I know this process has been unimaginably difficult for them.
“My prayers will continue for peace, justice and closure for all involved.”
“I am relieved for the Jones family.,” state Sen. George Young Sr. (Dem., Oklahoma City) said.
“I was expecting this outcome, and it is still hard to digest.”
“Thanking God that Julius Jones lives to see another day,” said State Rep. Regina Goodwin (Dem., Tulsa) commented.
“I appreciate Gov. Stitt’s choice to spare his life.
“His mother can hug her son.
“We thank Gov. Stitt for commuting the death sentence of Julius Jones,” state Rep. Ajay Pittman (Dem., Oklahoma City) remarked.
“This is not the end of this journey. There is so much work to do to seek transparency and accountability to make sure that we do not wrongfully incarcerate or execute any death row inmates.”