The Oklahoma Supreme Courtroom has rejected a request to take away two members of the state’s Pardon and Parole Board from a high-profile loss of life penalty case
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Supreme Courtroom has rejected a request to take away two members of the state’s Pardon and Parole Board from a high-profile loss of life penalty case.
The court docket’s transient ruling on Friday denied a prosecutor’s request to take away Adam Luck and Kelly Doyle from contemplating the commutation request of Julius Jones, who was sentenced to loss of life for the 1999 killing of Edmond businessman Paul Howell.
The ruling got here after a lawyer for District Lawyer David Prater argued earlier than a court docket referee that until members Luck and Doyle have been barred from collaborating within the choice, the five-member board would possible suggest that Jones’ sentence be commuted following a listening to Monday.
Prater, who argued that Luck and Doyle have a battle of curiosity due to their work with launched inmates, stated in an announcement that he respects the excessive court docket’s choice.
“That is the system I function in every single day and I consider in it, although selections don’t all the time go as I need,” Prater wrote.
Prater stated his workplace is ready to current “the reality of the circumstances” surrounding the deadly capturing of Howell throughout a carjacking.
“If the Board objectively considers the reality, they are going to rapidly vote to disclaim the killer’s commutation request,” Prater stated.
Attorneys for Luck and Doyle, Evan Gatewood and Michael Lieberman, didn’t instantly reply to Saturday telephone messages searching for remark.
The board may suggest downgrading Jones’ sentence to life in jail with or with out the potential of parole, however Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt would make the ultimate choice.
Prater vowed to oppose a commutation advice ought to the board ship it to the governor.
Jones, now 41, has maintained his innocence since his arrest and alleges he was framed by the precise killer, a highschool buddy and former co-defendant who was a key state witness towards him.
His case drew widespread consideration after it was profiled in “The Final Protection,” a three-episode documentary produced by actress Viola Davis that aired on ABC in 2018. It has since drawn the eye of actuality tv star Kim Kardashian West and athletes with Oklahoma ties, together with NBA stars Russell Westbrook, Blake Griffin and Trae Younger, who’ve urged Stitt to commute Jones’ loss of life sentence and spare his life.
Prater and the state’s former legal professional common, Mike Hunter, have stated the proof towards Jones is overwhelming. Data from trial transcripts reveals that witnesses recognized Jones because the shooter and positioned him with Howell’s stolen car. Investigators discovered the homicide weapon and a bandana with Jones’ DNA in an attic area above his bed room, however Jones claims in his commutation submitting that the gun and bandana have been planted there by the precise killer.
Jones additionally maintains his trial was contaminated by a racist juror, however Hunter has famous that the trial court docket and the Oklahoma Courtroom of Felony Appeals discovered in any other case.
Supporters of Jones plan a prayer service and a rally Monday in assist of his commutation software.
“Julius Jones will lastly have an opportunity to inform his story,” stated Rev. Cece Jones-Davis of Justice for Julius, who isn’t associated to Julius Jones. “We consider the reality will set him free.”