Oklahoma Pardon and Parole board recommends commutation for Julius Jones

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — UPDATE, 9/13/21, 12:30 p.m.: The Pardon and Parole Board recommends commutation for Julius Jones, to life in prison.

An Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board member has recused himself from the commutation hearing for death row inmate Julius Jones.

Jones was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1999 murder of Edmond businessman Paul Howell. Jones has always maintained his innocence and has garnered support from high-profile celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Baker Mayfield and Blake Griffin.

Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater confirmed that his office would file the motion Monday to have board member Scott Williams recuse and/or disqualify himself. The motion claims Williams is biased and has a conflict of interest.

Williams recused himself on Monday morning, but said that he is, “in complete compliance of the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board.” He insists there is no conflict of interest but recused himself out of an abundance of caution. After Williams’ recusal, there will now be four votes.

This means the Pardon and Parole Board will need 3 out of 4 “Yes” votes for Jones to be recommended for commutation.

If at least three of the five board members vote to recommend commutation, the final decision will be up to Gov. Kevin Stitt.

On Friday, the Oklahoma Supreme Court said it wouldn’t stop two key members of the Pardon and Parole Board from taking part in the commutation hearing. Prater tried to stop Kelly Doyle and Adam Luck from participating, saying they are biased.