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Tulsa attorney weighs in on what's next for Julius Jones

Death Row Appeal Oklahoma
Posted at 4:30 PM, Nov 19, 2021

TULSA, Okla. — Supporters of Julius Jones are pushing for him to eventually get out of prison after getting his death sentence wiped away on Thursday.

Tulsa attorney Tim Gilpin says under Gov. Kevin Stitt, it’s unlikely Jones would go free.

“This is a particularly unusual and novel situation in Oklahoma,” Gilpin says.

Stitt issued an executive order to commute Jones's death sentence, citing Article 6, Section 10 of the Oklahoma Constitution which gives the governor the power to grant commutations “upon such conditions and with such restrictions and limitations as the Governor may deem proper.”

The governor ordered that Jones, now serving a life sentence, would not be able to apply for or be considered for a commutation, pardon, or parole for the rest of his life.

"Under the current order of commutation as I read it, there is no chance to get out of jail or prison unless this governor changed his order and revised it,” Gilpin says.

However, Gilpin says Jones may have the chance to get a pardon from a future governor.

“A new governor, just reading the constitutional provision, it looks like could reset those circumstances,” Gilpin says.

“In looking at this provision of the state constitution, I don’t see any cases that have interpreted it before. So, this very well may be a novel situation that if a change does occur or attempted to occur the courts may have to answer."

Jones remains in prison after decades of maintaining his innocence despite his conviction in the murder of Edmond man Paul Howell.

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