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.”