Julius Jones execution - update: Watch live as family calls on governor to stop the ‘lynching’ of their son

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·37 min read
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  • Kevin Stitt
    American politician
  • Kim Kardashian
    Kim Kardashian
    American television and social media personality

Julius Jones is set to be executed by the state of Oklahoma on Thursday.

Mr Jones’s family and supporters - a group that includes celebrities like Kim Kardashian and basketball player Russell Westbrook - have been pressuring Oklahoma’s Governor Kevin Stitt to commute the man’s sentence to life in prison, but so far Mr Stitt has not indicated he is considering a reversal.

Mr Stitt is also facing international pressure after the European Union’s ambassador to the US penned a letter calling on him to stop the execution and a petition against the execution has garnered more than 6 million signatures.

Jones, 41, has spent more than half of his life in prison after he was charged and convicted of the murder of Paul Howell during a 1999 carjacking. He has maintained that he is innocent of the crime and was framed by his then-friend and co-defendant, who allegedly actually shot Mr Howell.

The state has scheduled Jones to death by lethal injection, making him only the second prisoner to be executed since the state took a six year break from using the deadly drug concoction after a series of botched executions. The first person to be executed since the moratorium was lifted, a 60 year old inmate, convulsed and vomited during the execution, which raised further questions about the drugs.

Jones and his supporters have been visiting Mr Stitt’s office in the days leading up to the execution in an attempt to secure a meeting to discuss a stay of execution. ABC’s documentary The Last Defense explores Jones’ fight to avoid the death penalty and attracted the support of celebrities, especially those with ties to Oklahoma.

Read More

The race to spare Julius Jones from the death chamber

Julius Jones’ mother pleads for Oklahoma governor to call off execution

Kim Kardashian issues passionate anti-death penalty plea ahead of Julius Jones’ scheduled execution

Julius Jones: Family wait outside Oklahoma governor’s office in vain ahead of execution

Key Points

  • Jones’ supporters back at the state capitol pushing for a meeting with the governor

  • Kim Kardashian issues passionate anti-death penalty plea ahead of Julius Jones’ scheduled execution

  • European Union ambassador to the US delivers letter urging Oklahoma governor to stay Julius Jones execution

  • Read Kim Kardashian’s emotional Twitter post

  • Police barricade governor’s mansion as Oklahoma mulls Julius Jones execution

‘He’s not this monster,’ Julius Jones’s mother says at vigil outside governor’s office

22:54 , Josh Marcus

Julius Jones’s mother Madeline has been speaking to a large crowd of activists gathered in the state capitol outside of governor Kevin Stitt’s office.

She described the experience of seeing her son for what was potentially the last time on Wednesday, noting that she wasn’t even allowed to hug him.

“Today I had high expectations to hug my son,” Ms Jones said. “I saw him, but I been seeing him through a glass. A lot of people think I get to hug him. I don’t get to hug him. And he’s not this monster that people have portrayed him to be.”

Watch the Jones family address the public via livestream here, courtesy of KOCO 5 news.

‘I don’t want to go to a lynching’: Jones family speaks out at state capitol vigil

22:35 , Josh Marcus

The Jones family has returned from visiting Julius Jones in prison, and are now speaking at the Oklahoma state capitol, outside of governor Kevin Stitt’s office.

“My son, he don’t need to repent,” Madeline Davis-Jones, Julius’s mother, said. “Repent for what? It’s not his fault that he’s a Black child.”

She compared the execution scheduled tomorrow to a “lynching.”

“I don’t want to go to a lynching tomorrow,” she said. “We should be through with that. Do you want your baby, your child be hanged? And especially if there’s nothing they’ve done.”

he Independent has explored the historical connections between lynching and the death penalty as part of its coverage of capital punishment in America.

The ‘stepchild of lynching’: How the death penalty targets Black people

Supporters of Howell family at Capitol

22:25 , Oliver O'Connell

Supporters of the family of Paul Howell, the victim of the 1999 shooting, have been seen at the State Capitol.

They hold signs reading: “The real killer is still out there,” and “Justice for Paul Howell”.

Key arguments made Jones’ attorneys and response from prosecutors

22:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Eye witness description of shooter

Paul Howell’s sister, Megan Tobey, who was an eyewitness to her brother’s killing testified in court that the gunman was wearing a stocking cap that came down “about a half an inch to an inch” above his ears, and that hair was sticking out from both sides. Jones’ attorneys suggest this was a better description of Jones’ co-defendant who testified against him, Christopher Jordan, who had corn-row braids at the time, and that the jury was never shown a photo of Jones taken a week before the murder that showed him with short, close-cropped hair. Jones has long said he was framed by Jordan, and that Jordan is the actual killer.

But prosecutors say Tobey testified she never saw braids and that her testimony was referring to how much hair was visible between the top of the ear and the stocking cap, not the hair length. Prosecutors also note that a federal district court addressed this issue, noting “the length of (Jones’) hair compared to Mr. Jordan’s is not a persuasive showing of actual innocence.”

Jones’ Alibi

Jones and his family have maintained that he was at home with them on the night of Howell’s murder, eating dinner and playing games with his siblings, and that the jury was never presented this information at trial.

Prosecutors say this is a “blatant falsehood,” and that Jones’ trial attorney never called the family to the witness stand because Jones repeatedly told his attorneys that he was not at home on the night of the murder. They also note that three people saw Jones with Howell’s stolen Suburban shortly after the killing. Even Jones’ trial attorney, David McKenzie, wrote in an affidavit that he “personally concluded that the alibi defense was untrue.”

Jailhouse testimony

Jones’ attorneys say the jury also never heard from several individuals who have testified that Jordan admitted killing Howell and framing Jones. Prosecutors say those individuals, all of whom have lengthy criminal records, were not credible, knew no details of the murder and that their testimonies were not corroborated.

Racial bias

A juror in Jones’ trial wrote in an affidavit after Jones’ conviction that during the trial another juror engaged in premature deliberations and used a racial epithet while saying they should take Jones behind the jail and shoot him. Prosecutors argue that when the trial judge asked her about this allegation the day after the alleged incident, she never mentioned the racial epithet. And the judge’s bailiff signed an affidavit saying the juror never reported this, as she said she did.

Associated Press

Governor’s phone system crashes

22:00 , Oliver O'Connell

A spokesperson for the governor’s office says they are still taking calls, but the phone system could have crashed.

Bernice King adds voice to calls for clemency

21:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Bernice King, CEO of the Martin Luther King Jr Center for Nonviolent Social Change, has added her voice to call for Governor Stitt to stay the execution of Julius Jones.

“It is the right, just thing to do,” she said in a tweet.

ACLU demands reinstatement of moratorium on executions

21:15 , Oliver O'Connell

The ACLU of Oklahoma says it is requesting that Governor Stitt “reinstate a moratorium on executions and issue a stay on the remaining execution dates immediately and until the judiciary has made a final decision on Oklahoma’s lethal injection protocols.”

Protest chants continue in State Capitol

20:50 , Oliver O'Connell

Supporters and students from Classen SAS High School chant Free Julius Jones in the halls of the Oklahoma State Capitol outside of Governor Stitt’s office.

Oklahoma governors have granted clemency in the past

20:27 , Oliver O'Connell

The Oklahoman has compiled a list of the previous times a governor has granted clemency to those on death row after recommendations from the state’s parole board.

Governor Brad Henry did so on three occasions during his eight years in office from 2003 to 2011.

In 2004, he granted clemency to Osvaldo Torres, a Mexican national. Torres was sentenced to death for his role in the fatal shooting of Francisco Morales and his wife Maria Yanez in Oklahoma City in 1993.

At his clemency hearing, Torres said he and George Ochoa had planned to rob the couple but that he hadn’t anticipated that his partner would kill anyone.

His death sentence was reduced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Ochoa was put to death in 2012. Ochoa’s last words were, "I’m innocent."

In 2008, Governor Henry granted clemency to Kevin Young. He was sentenced to death for the 1996 shooting of Joseph Sutton during an armed robbery in Oklahoma City.

At his clemency hearing at the parole board, his attorneys argued the shooting was not premeditated and did not merit a capital sentence. They said their client turned down a plea agreement in his original trial that would have given him a life sentence.

Young’s punishment was reduced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The last person to receive clemency was Richard Tandy Smith in 2010. He was sentenced to death for the 1986 shooting of John Cederlund during an alleged drug deal outside an abandoned farmhouse in Canadian County.

Mr Henry made the decision almost two months after the parole board recommended clemency. He stayed Smith’s execution to give him more time to consider. Smith continues to serve his new sentence — life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Mr Henry’s predecessor, Governor Frank Keating, granted clemency to Phillip Dewitt Smith in 2001. Smith was convicted in the murder of Matthew Taylor in 1983 in Muskogee.

Witnesses who placed Smith at the scene later recanted and the state’s parole board approved his clemency recommendation. Keating said he believed Smith probably did it but lacked "moral certainty."

Smith’s punishment was changed to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

More European ambassadors send messages of support

20:00 , Oliver O'Connell

The ambassadors of France, Belgium, and Denmark have joined the EU call for clemency.

French ambassador Philippe Etienne tweeted: “Like the whole of the #EU, France is against the death penalty and for its universal abolition. @EUintheUS, we support your letter.”

His deputy, Aurélie Bonal, added: “Through its resolute commitment to universal abolition, France has become recognized as one of the main States involved in combating the #deathpenalty. France supports @EUintheUS‘s letter addressed to @GovStitt respectfully requesting him to grant clemency to #JuliusJones.”

Belgian Ambassador Jean-Arthur Régibeau wrote: “Belgium joins the EU in calling on Oklahoma Governor @GovStitt to grant clemency to #JuliusJones, who is scheduled to be executed on November 18. We share a strong commitment and will continue to fight for universal abolition of the #DeathPenalty.”

The Danish Embassy’s official account posted a similar message: “Denmark supports @EUAmbUS urgent request that @GovStitt of Oklahoma grants clemency to #JuliusJones. Denmark continues to firmly oppose capital punishment.”

Julius Jones and his family share final moments as hope fades of execution stay

19:40 , Oliver O'Connell

The innocence movement to free Oklahoma death row inmate Julius Jones has reached unprecedented heights, attracting support from some of the world’s most prominent celebrities, diplomats, and athletes.

But with Jones’s execution set for 18 November, and Oklahoma governor Kevin Stitt giving no public signs so far he’ll intervene to stop it, the Jones family says they’ve never felt more unseen.

Josh Marcus reports for The Independent.

‘I feel invisible’: Julius Jones and his family share last moments as execution nears

Images of the student protests as they reach State Capitol

19:20 , Oliver O'Connell

People are singing and clapping inside the Capitol in support of Julius Jones.

State attorney general believes Julius Jones is ‘100%’ guilty

19:05 , Oliver O'Connell

Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor says he will support whatever Governor Kevin Stitt decides, but he is 100 per cent sure that Julius Jones is guilty.

In an interview with Evan Onstot of ABC affiliate KOCO, Mr O’Connor said: “I’ve reviewed the evidence three different times. I’ve looked at all the exhibits. And there’s no doubt in my mind.”

He continued: “The unfortunate thing is that Mr Jones has never admitted, never repented, never asked the family to forgive him.”

Mr O’Connor said Mr Jones’ scheduled execution is a matter of public safety and the rule of law, adding: “Every Oklahoman should be able to take their kids to buy school supplies, drop by and get ice cream on the way home, and pull in to granddad’s and grandma’s home without fearing that someone is going to put a bullet in their temple when they get out of their car in front of their 7-year-old and their 9-year-old daughters.”

The attorney general also said that he is comfortable with Oklahoma’s lethal injection method, saying about recently executed inmate John Grant: “it’s not chemically possible that he was alert or understood or felt any pain” because of the sheer amount of the sedative injected to start the process.

Mr O’Connor was appointed as the state’s attorney general in July by Governor Stitt, despite the American Bar Association previously rating him as “not qualified” to serve as a federal judge.

The governor said at the time that he has known Mr O’Connor for more than 20 years and considered him a “mentor” who helped advise him when he was CEO of a mortgage company.

Students marching to Oklahoma Capitol

18:50 , Oliver O'Connell

NAACP reacts to student protests

18:45 , Oliver O'Connell

The NAACP has reacted to the widespread protests by high school students across Oklahoma City.

A tweet from the organisation reads: “Governor Stitt even the youth in your state can recognize the wrong that you have the power to change TODAY! Honour their demonstration, his family, the millions of supporters across this nation and the recommendation of your Parole Board for clemency for Julius Jones.”

Governor’s office received 10,000 calls on Tuesday

18:25 , Oliver O'Connell

A spokesperson for Governor Stitt says his office received 10,000 calls on Tuesday — the majority from out of state.

Rapper J Cole tweets his support

18:18 , Oliver O'Connell

Rapper J Cole has tweeted his support and asked his fans to take action and call the governor’s office.

Fundraiser for governor cancelled

17:55 , Oliver O'Connell

A campaign fundraiser for the governor that was scheduled for today was cancelled according to Governor Stitt’s campaign manager.

She says the Governor is “fully focused” on the clemency decision.

Statement from Oklahoma City Public Schools

17:48 , Oliver O'Connell

OKPCS supports our students’ right to peaceful assembly and their freedom of expression. We have worked closely with students and student groups who wished to assemble today so we could provide them with a safe space to express themselves regarding an issue they are passionate about. Our top priority is always to support the academic and social-emotional needs of our students while maintaining a safe and orderly learning environment.

Student protests spread across Oklahoma City

17:35 , Oliver O'Connell

At least six high schools have seen students walk out in support of Julius Jones.

Students at another high school join protest

17:28 , Oliver O'Connell

Students at a second Oklahoma City high school have also walked out in support of Julius Jones.

Students walk out in support of Jones

17:25 , Oliver O'Connell

Students at John Marshall High School in Oklahoma City have walked out of classes and will remain on the football field until the end of the school day in support of Julius Jones.

Some 200 students have gathered and will hold a 22-minute silence for Jones. School officials report the entire school of grades 9 through 12 is staging the walkout.

Media witnesses to attend execution

17:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Shardaa Gray of Fox 25 writes: “In case you’re wondering, we did receive an invitation from the Oklahoma Department of Corrections for Julius Jones’ scheduled execution.”

“The time of execution is scheduled for 4 PM, about the same time as John Grant,” she continues.

“5 media witnesses are allowed to view the execution,” Ms Gray writes, clarifying: “One seat is reserved for a local media representative in the town where the crime was committed, one is reserved for a representative with the Associated Press, and the three remaining seats will be determined through a lottery-style pick.”

Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield tears up talking about Julius Jones

17:10 , Oliver O'Connell

Baker Mayfield, quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, teared up when asked about Julius Jones.

Mr Mayfield has been a longtime advocate of Mr Jones’ innocence.

Julius Jones’ sister praises Kim Kardashian for checking in on family

17:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Julius’ sister, Antoinette Jones, told TMZ that Kim Kardashian has been in touch with the family in recent days to see how they’re holding up — but more importantly, to get a pulse on how Julius himself is handling the dire situation.

Antoinette also said she appreciates how Kim’s posts have mobilised so many people and made so many aware of the situation.

Read Kim’s heartfelt Twitter posts below.

Kim Kardashian speaks out against death penalty ahead of Julius Jones’ execution

German Ambassador to US calls for clemency

16:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Emily Haber, Germany’s ambassador to the US tweets: “As Germans, abolishing the death penalty was one of the lessons we took from our history. Today, I join in calling for clemency for #JuliusJones.”

“I hope all the US will join the historic process to abandon capital punishment,” she adds, posting the letter from the EU ambassador below her tweet.

Who is Governor Stitt?

16:15 , Oliver O'Connell

John Kevin Stitt is the 28th governor of Oklahoma. A Republican, he has been in office since January 2019 having won the 2018 election.

He was formerly the chairman and CEO of Gateway Mortgage Group and touted his business acumen in his run for office. During his campaign, he called himself “the only job creator with proven business experience” running for governor.

Mr Stitt received support from Senator Ted Cruz and former senators Rick Santorum and Tom Coburn. He was endorsed by then-president Donald Trump, and vice president Mike Pence campaigned for him.

With regards to capital punishment in the state, Oklahoma has conducted the third-most executions since the death penalty was reinstated in Gregg v. Georgia (1976). However, in 2015, a moratorium was placed on all state executions following the botched execution of Clayton Lockett in April 2014 and the execution of Charles Warner by unauthorized methods in January 2015.

On 13 February 2020, Governor Stitt announced that the moratorium would be lifted.

Mr Stitt drew national attention several times during the Covid-19 pandemic, first by posting a photo of himself eating at a packed restaurant with two of his children as much of the country locked down. He later deleted the tweet.

In April he placed a massive order of hydroxychloroquine, the drug heavily promoted by the president as a cure for coronavirus with no evidence to suggest it was an effective treatment. In January of 2021, the state attempted to return $2m with of its stockpile.

The governor also attended the infamous Trump rally in Tulsa on 20 June and was seen not wearing a mask. The indoor rally turned into a superspreader event, though the governor was not infected.

On 15 July 2020 he announced that he had tested positive for Covid-19 becoming the first governor to be diagnosed with the virus.

Mr Stitt is a member of the Cherokee nation, the first tribally enrolled Native American to serve as governor of a US state, and Oklahoma’s second governor of Native descent after Johnston Murray. He grew up in Norman, Oklahoma, and graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in accounting. He and his wife, Sarah Stitt, have six children.

Lee Merritt shares video asking Oklahoma City mayor for help to stop execution

15:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Civil rights attorney Lee Merritt, who represents the parents of Ahmaud Arbery and is running to be Texas attorney general, tweeted out a video of him calling Oklahoma City mayor David Holt asking him to help stop the execution of Julius Jones.

Rallies for Julius Jones to be held across the country

15:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Rallies in support of Julius Jones will be held across the US today.

Reverend Cece Jones-Davis is with the Jones family

15:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Reverend Cece Jones-Davis, founder of the Justice for Julius movement, is with the Jones family. She tweets: “I’m with the Jones family at their last visit with Julius Jones unless Governor Kevin Stitt intervenes. This is evil. Don’t you ever believe that any of this is God’s Will.”

“Y’all know Mama Jones is the strongest woman in the world. Today, her eyes are closed in the back seat. I asked how she was doing. She said, ‘I’m empty inside. I feel invisible.’”

Prayers continue outside governor’s office

14:46 , Oliver O'Connell

Supporters chant prayers outside Capitol

14:11 , Helen.Elfer

A group of supporters has gathered outside Oklahoma State Capitol, reports Fox 25’s Shardaa Gray.

As the execution date draws closer, they are praying together and urging Governor Stitt to follow the recommendation of the Pardon and Parole Board to commute Julius Jones’ execution.

Petition against Julius Jones’ execution gains 6 million signatures

13:42 , Helen.Elfer

A petition with 6 million signatures was delivered to the Pardon and Parole Board today by campaigners hoping to help stay the execution of Julius Jones.

The change.org petition, called ‘Julius Jones is innocent. Don’t let him be executed by the state of Oklahoma’ says he spends 23 hours a day in solitary confinement, with just one hour of sunlight a day, and three showers a week.

Julius Jones’ mother pictured trying to talk to Oklahoma Governor

13:12 , Eleanor Sly

Julius Jones’ family attempted to talk to Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt.

A group including his mother, Madeline Davis-Jones, and some others ( who are not relations of Jones) were pictured outside his office on Monday.

From left to right, Quinita Jones (no relation), Rep. Jason Lowe, Madeline Davis-Jones, mother of death row inmate Julius Jones, and Dionne and Rev. Marcus Carruthers wait on a bench outside of Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt’s office, hoping for a meeting with him, at the Oklahoma Capitol in Oklahoma City, Monday, Nov. 15, 2021. (Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman via AP) (AP)
From left to right, Quinita Jones (no relation), Rep. Jason Lowe, Madeline Davis-Jones, mother of death row inmate Julius Jones, and Dionne and Rev. Marcus Carruthers wait on a bench outside of Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt’s office, hoping for a meeting with him, at the Oklahoma Capitol in Oklahoma City, Monday, Nov. 15, 2021. (Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman via AP) (AP)

The race to spare Julius Jones from the death chamber

12:15 , Eleanor Sly

The 1999 murder of Paul Howell was senseless and sensational.

The killing, in front of his two young daughters, devastated his family and stunned the surrounding community. Hundreds of officers and heavily armed SWAT troops fanned out across the Oklahoma City suburbs, searching for two black teenagers accused of killing the prosperous white businessman during a carjacking.

Once police caught a suspect, 19-year-old Julius Jones, the state’s most prominent prosecutor and newspaper editorial board both called for the death penalty in a manner of days, well before all the facts had been established.

Josh Marcus writes:

The race to spare Julius Jones from the death chamber

Parole board members expressed doubts about evidence at start of month

11:32 , Eleanor Sly

Several members of the parole board said at a hearing in early November that they had doubts about the evidence.

“I continue to believe there is still doubt in this case,” board member Kelly Doyle said.

However, Richard Smothermon, a former prosecutor, said that he did not believe Jones’ account of the murder before going on to voted against clemency.

“To believe in Mr Jones’ theory of the case, you have to disbelieve every other piece of evidence in the case.” This would have to include physical evidence and testimony from law enforcement officers and independent witnesses, he said.

Police barricade governor’s mansion as Oklahoma mulls Julius Jones execution

10:35 , Eleanor Sly

Oklahoma City police officers have begun erecting barricades around the governor’s mansion, the Black Times reported, as governor Kevin Stitt considers stopping the impending execution of controversial Oklahoma death row inmate Julius Jones.

The state parole board has twice recommended that Jones, sentenced to execution for the 1999 murder of Paul Howell, be removed from death row, citing doubts about his true guilt. The decision, however, ultimately rests with Governor Stitt, and the execution will take place on 18 November unless he elects to grant Jones clemency.

Josh Marcus has more:

Police barricade governor’s mansion as Oklahoma mulls Julius Jones execution

Legal Defense Fund expresses views on Julius Jones case

09:45 , Eleanor Sly

The United States’ Legal Defense Fund, a civil rights law organisation, has indicated its stance on the Julius Jones.

Writing on Twitter they said:” There is powerful evidence that Julius Jones is innocent”

Julius Jones: Family wait outside Oklahoma governor’s office in vain ahead of execution

08:57 , Eleanor Sly

The family of death row inmate Julius Jones waited in vain for hours on Monday outside the Oklahoma governor’s office in an attempt to make one final desperate plea ahead of the 41-year-old’s scheduled 18 November execution.

Jones, who has spent more than half of his life in prison, was convicted of the 1999 murder of Oklahoma City businessman Paul Howell, who was shot in front of his two young daughters. He was sentenced to death during the height of the “Tough on Crime” era. He has maintained his innocence since his arrest, when he was a 19-year-old University of Oklahoma student, insisting he was framed by a prosecution witness.

An Oklahoma parole board recommended that Jones’ sentence be commuted in disagreement with the Howell family and Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office. Jones’ execution is scheduled for lethal injection Thursday.

Sheila Flynn reports:

Julius Jones: Family wait outside governor’s office in vain ahead of execution

Julius Jones’ family were still hoping for his release just two months ago

08:25 , Eleanor Sly

Julius Jones’ family were still hopeful that he would be freed when they spoke on ABC’s Nightline in September.

This came as the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board suggested that Jones’ sentence should be changed to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

At the time, Jones’ mother, Madeline Davis-Jones, said the parole board’s decision had given her renewed hope that her son would survive and she called the news "magical."

Meanwhile, Jones’ sister said that she was hopeful he would be set free, saying that she could picture justice for her brother.

"Julius being able to feel the sun on his skin, the natural sun on his skin. It looks like him having no chains [on] when he gets to go outside," she said. "It looks like freedom.”

Kim Kardashian takes to Twitter to issue plea

07:37 , Eleanor Sly

Ahead of Julius Jones’ scheduled execution on Thursday, Kim Kardashian has taken to Twitter to express her feelings on the situation.

In an emotional post, the celebrity wrote: “At 9pm the day before his execution, #JuliusJones phone privileges will be terminated and he will receive his last meal.

“He will be checked on every 15 minutes for the last four hours of his life.

“Then, he will be put to death.”

ICYMI: Kim Kardashian issues passionate anti-death penalty plea ahead of Julius Jones’ scheduled execution

04:30 , Graig Graziosi

One of Julius Jones most notable supporters has been reality television star and model Kim Kardashian. The celebrity penned a letter to Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt begging him not to execute Jones.

“This is the cold machinery of the death penalty,” Ms Kardashian wrote on her Twitter account, “an innocent man could be put to death. My heart breaks for Julius and so many others who have suffered from such tragic miscarriage of justice.”

The Independent’s Jade Bremner has more in her story below...

Kim Kardashian speaks out against death penalty ahead of Julius Jones’ execution

Dozens of Julius Jones supporters prayed outside governor’s office

03:00 , Graig Graziosi

Dozens of people calling for Julius Jones to be granted clemency prayed outside the office of Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt on Tuesday evening.

Jones’ family and advocates had been camped outside the governor’s office hoping to get a moment to meet with him before he allows Jones to be executed on Thursday.

Five Republican lawmakers in Oklahoma urge Governor Kevin Stitt to grant Julius Jones clemency

01:30 , Graig Graziosi

Five Republican lawmakers in Oklahoma previously urged Governor Kevin Stitt - also a Republican - to grant Julius Jones clemency. Jones is set to be executed on Thursday.

Reps. Kevin McDugle, Logan Phillips, John Talley, Garry Mize and Preston Stinson all called on Mr Stitt to grant Jones clemency. The latter two lawmakers represent parts of Edmond, where the killing of Paul Howell occurred in 1999.

“The last thing the state should be doing is taking the life of someone who may be innocent,” Mr Mize said in a news release. “There is too much doubt here, especially given that Julius Jones’ codefendant has confessed to being the real murderer. We can’t move forward with an execution under these circumstances in good conscience. I hope and pray Gov. Stitt accepts the recommendation of his Parole Board.”

Police barricade governor’s mansion as Oklahoma mulls Julius Jones execution

Tuesday 16 November 2021 22:49 , Graig Graziosi

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt’s house has been barricaded by police as supporters of Julius Jones await his ruling.

Earlier today orange barrels and police tape were put in place around Mr Stitt’s house, but heavier barriers were brought in and installed around 5pm.

The Independent’s Josh Marcus has more on the story below...

Police barricade governor’s mansion as Oklahoma mulls Julius Jones execution

Oklahoma Governor’s residence roped off ahead of Julius Jones execution

Tuesday 16 November 2021 20:55 , Graig Graziosi

A reporter at The Frontier noted that Governor Kevin Stitt’s house has been roped off ahead of the scheduled execution of Julius Jones on Thursday.

Based on photos of the area, it does not appear there are demonstrators outside the house, though that may change as Jones’ execution hour draws near.

Pastors get meeting with Oklahoma state officials, say they have faith the governor will grant Julius Jones clemency

Tuesday 16 November 2021 19:49 , Graig Graziosi

A pair of pastors who are advocating on behalf of Julius Jones were granted a meeting with Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt’s general counsel and his communications director at noon today.

Following the meeting, the pastors said they had faith that Mr Stitt would spare Jones from his execution, which is scheduled for Thursday.

One of the clergymen, Pastor Derrick Scobey, said he felt better “walking down these steps than I felt coming up,” and said he was “encouraged.”

Clergy members have joined efforts at the Oklahoma statehouse to stop Julius Jones’ execution

Tuesday 16 November 2021 18:57 , Graig Graziosi

Religious leaders have joined the voices calling for Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt to grant Julius Jones clemency.

Jones is scheduled to die by lethal injection on Thursday.

One pastor even offered himself up to take Jones’ place in the death chamber - an offer that the state would never agree to, but that does illustrate the desperation of Jones’ supporters to save him.

European Union ambassador to the US delivers letter urging Oklahoma governor to stay Julius Jones execution

Tuesday 16 November 2021 18:01 , Graig Graziosi

The European Union’s ambassador to the US, Stavros Lambrinidis, sent a letter to Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt urging him not to execute Julius Jones, who is scheduled to die on Thursday from lethal injection.

The ambassador cited Jones’ youth at the time of his crime as well as “questions about evidence” and the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board’s recommendation for clemency in his argument against execution.

Family waits outside Oklahoma governor’s office in vain ahead of execution

Tuesday 16 November 2021 16:45 , Graig Graziosi

The family of Julius Jones - who is set to be executed on Thursday - camped outside Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt’s office on Monday. Jones’ relatives hoped for the opportunity to speak with Mr Stitt about staying the execution, but were never given a chance to speak with the governor.

A family friend who waited outside the governor’s office said they would wait “as long as it takes” to get a moment of the governor’s time.

The Independent’s Sheila Flynn has more on the family’s desperate bid below...

Julius Jones: Family wait outside governor’s office in vain ahead of execution

Kim Kardashian issues passionate anti-death penalty plea ahead of Julius Jones’ scheduled execution

Tuesday 16 November 2021 16:24 , Graig Graziosi

Kim Kardashian is advocating for Julius Jones, and has called for Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt to spare his life.

Ms Kardashian issued a statement condemning the state’s use of the death penalty and supporting Jones’ claim that he is innocent.

“This is the cold machinery of the death penalty,” Ms Kardashian wrote on her Twitter account, “an innocent man could be put to death. My heart breaks for Julius and so many others who have suffered from such tragic miscarriage of justice.”

The Independent’s Jade Bremner has more in the story below...

Kim Kardashian speaks out against death penalty ahead of Julius Jones’ execution

Protesters begin picketing outside Oklahoma Governor’s Mansion

Tuesday 16 November 2021 23:36 , Graig Graziosi

Advocates for Julius Jones have started picketing outside the Oklahoma Governor’s Mansion to protest the man’s scheduled execution on Thursday.

Barriers and police tape were erected to protect the building earlier this evening.

Jones’ supporters - including the European Union and Kim Kardashian - have been pressuring Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt to stay the execution.

Some protesters reportedly said they would camp outside the mansion all night.

The governor does not actually live at the residence.

Jones’ supporters back at the state capitol pushing for a meeting with the governor

Tuesday 16 November 2021 17:18 , Graig Graziosi

Julius Jones’ supporters have returned to the state’s capitol to once again wait for an audience with Governor Kevin Stitt.

The advocates said they would not leave until Jones’ mother has the chance to speak with the governor.

The race to spare Julius Jones from the death chamber

Tuesday 16 November 2021 16:49 , Graig Graziosi

Julius Jones’ execution is scheduled to occur in less than 48 hours.

What events led to the this point, and what has the fight to spare the 41-year-old’s life looked like in the years leading up to this moment?

The Independent’s Josh Marcus examines the case from its origins in his story below...

The race to spare Julius Jones from the death chamber

Welcome to the live blog

Tuesday 16 November 2021 16:19 , Graig Graziosi

Welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of the ongoing case of Julius Jones, a man set to be executed on Thursday by the state of Oklahoma. Jones, 41, was imprisoned when he was 19 and has spent more than half his life in prison. He has maintained his innocence for decades, with a group of public advocates and celebrities - including Kim Kardashian - throwing their support behind him.

Despite this, the state maintains that the evidence against Jones is overwhelming, and Governor Kevin Stitt has given no indication he is considering staying Jones’ execution.

Jones and his supporters will be working up to the moment of execution to try to stop the execution.

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