Oklahoma board urges governor to commute death sentence

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma’s Pardon and Parole Board is recommending the governor commute the death sentence of Julius Jones for a 1999 killing. The board voted 3-1 on Monday to recommend Jones’ sentence be commuted to life in prison. Board member Scott Williams recused himself because of a professional relationship he had with an attorney who spoke on Jones’ behalf. Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt will ultimately decide Jones’ fate. Jones has maintained his innocence in the 1999 shooting death of Edmond businessman Paul Howell. Jones’ case has drawn widespread attention after it was profiled in “The Last Defense,” a three-episode documentary produced by actress Viola Davis that aired on ABC in 2018.