Oklahoma governor commutes death sentence hours before execution

Oklahoma Gov. J. Kevin Stitt today commuted the death sentence of an inmate, hours before his scheduled execution.

Julius Jones, who was scheduled to be executed today at 4 p.m. for a murder he says he did not commit, will have to serve a life imprisonment instead, without the possibility of parole.

“After prayerful consideration and reviewing materials presented by all sides of this case, I have determined to commute Julius Jones’ sentence to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole,” Stitt said in a statement.

The commutation was greeted by Sister Helen Prejean, a longtime death penalty opponent, who at 1:23 p.m. today tweeted “BREAKING: @GovStitt grants clemency and commutes Julius Jones’s death sentence to life without parole. The execution scheduled for today is canceled.”

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