OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — The leading challenger for Gov. Kevin Stitt’s job weighed in on his decision to commute Julius Jones’ sentence.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister, who is running for the Democratic nomination for governor, said the decision was only half-right.
She said Jones could be innocent, so the governor should have followed the state Pardon and Parole Board’s recommendations to grant him clemency and have a chance at parole.
Hofmeister said she’s not against the death penalty, but she said more time is needed to look at the case. She also took issue with Stitt’s announcement timing – four hours before the scheduled execution.
“The governor dragged this out and it caused unwarranted trauma and anguish for the families, the Howell family, the Julius Jones family, as well as the entire community,” she said.
She added that her heart breaks for the Howell family, saying she can’t imagine the heartache they’ve felt for decades.
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