attorney general oklahoma pardon and parole board julius jones
Left: Oklahoma death row inmate Julius Jones, who has a commutation hearing on September 13. Right: Oklahoma Attorney General John O'Connor
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Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor is advising Governor Stitt to execute Julius Jones, according to a source familiar with the situation. The source, who asked to remain anonymous, said O’Connor is pushing Stitt to “move forward with the execution”.

“O’Connor said the governor listens to him,” the source said, and that “Stitt considers him a mentor“.

The news comes as Governor Stitt still has yet to make a decision on the state Pardon and Parole Board’s recommendation to grant Jones clemency and commute his sentence. The Board has now twice recommended that Stitt commute Jones’ sentence to life with the possibility of parole. But with just eight days until Jones’ November 18th execution date, time is running out.

tenth circuit execution lawsuit julius jones update
Supporters of Julius Jones react to the news that the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board has voted 3-1 to recommend commutation at his historic commutation hearing on Monday, Sept. 13. (The Black Wall Street Times photo. / Mike Creef)

Attorney General’s push to execute Jones ‘not rooted in the facts of the case’, source says

In their interview with The BWSTimes, the source, who has knowledge of O’Conner’s conversations about the case, noted that O’Connor’s reasoning “doesn’t seem like it’s connected to the guilt or innocence of Julius Jones”.

“He’s basing it on closure for the [Howell] family,” they said. “That and Julius’s past legal troubles as a young teenager, rather than the facts of the case.”

They said O’Connor indicated he “felt pretty confident the execution would happen because of his advice to the governor and the way the governor listens to him.”

clemency oklahoma legislative black caucus clemency
Julius Jones (right) addresses the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board for the first time in 22 years. His clemency hearing was held on November 1, 2021. The Board voted 3-1 to recommend the governor provide clemency and commute his sentence to life with the possibility of parole. (News on 6 Screenshot)

Since taking office over the summer, O’Connor has made his opposition to clemency or commutation for Jones known. In late October, he and Oklahoma County DA David Prater attempted to have two respected members of the Pardon and Parole Board removed. It was a move even high-profile Republicans with close ties to the Trump White House called “troubling pressure tactics“.

The BWSTimes reached out to the Attorney General’s office asking if he was advising the governor to execute Jones; a decision that would fly in the face of the Pardon and Parole Board’s unprecedented back-to-back recommendations for commutation.

In a statement, OAG Press Secretary Madelyn Sheriff confirmed the Attorney General’s office is advocating for execution.

“The Attorney General is very disappointed with the Pardon and Parole Board’s recommendation,” wrote Sheriff. “Our office will continue to advocate for the jurors’ sentence, and justice for the Howell family.”

Faith leaders, Jones’ family members pray for justice and mercy from Oklahoma governor

As Jones’ execution date nears, faith leaders, community members and elected leaders are urging the Governor to spare Julius’s life. While the Attorney General and longtime friend of the governor pushes for execution, conservatives across the country ask for commutation. It’s a rare but welcomed moment of unity across the political spectrum.

Jones’ family is also pleading with Governor Stitt to uphold the Pardon and Parole Board’s recommendations. In a virtual prayer meeting on Tuesday night, pastors prayed for Julius’s freedom, the Governor’s discernment and the Jones and Howell families alike. Julius’s mother and sister also joined the call and added to the prayers.

Julius’s sister, Antoinette, thanked supporters across the state for fighting for her brother. “Twenty-two years ago, we didn’t have this,” she said of the outpouring of advocacy, “But God.”

Faith leader Cece Jones-Davis (no relation) and Antoinette Jones, sister of Julius Jones (right) speak to reporter Deon Osborne after the Pardon and Parole Board voted 3-1 to recommend clemency. (Photo by Mike Creef / The Black Wall Street Times)

His mother, Madeline, fighting back tears at one point, told the thousands watching “I just want to hold my baby boy again”.

It’s been 22 years since Mrs. Jones held her son. Faith leaders tonight asked Oklahomans to call, write, pray and work to ensure she has that chance again.

Correction: An earlier version of this story referred to Matt Schlapp, a Republican who has advocated for commutation for Julius Jones, as a “former Trump White House Official”. Mr. Schlapp is a former Bush White House Official. He later lobbied the Trump White House when his wife, Mercedes Schlapp, served as Trump’s Director of Strategic Communications.

Nate Morris moved to the Tulsa area in 2012 and has committed himself to helping build a more equitable and just future for everyone who calls the city home. As a teacher, advocate, community organizer...

29 replies on “Sources: Oklahoma AG pushing Governor Stitt to execute Julius Jones”

  1. Julius Jones supporters probably mean well, but how do you explain his guilty plea to ARMED ROBBERY and FELONY FIREARM VIOLATION in CARJACKING that was identical to the Howell carjacking (a gunman in bandanna held gun to victims head demanding keys) and the victim positively identified Jones as Julius pled guilty.

    Two of the Pardon and Parole board members (Adam Luck and Kelly Doyle) have voted against all death penalty cases, so their credibility is not much and they did not review evidence.
    14 state and federal court judges have actually examined the evidence, testimony of witnesses, exhibits, and prior record of Jones violent crimes.

    All 14 judges upheld the verdict and sentence

    1. To be fair, the eye witness testimony for the initial case was giving descriptions of Chris Jordan and not Jones, the case is still questionable in some instances but the eye witness testimony (Howell’s Sister I believe) could not identify Julius Jones as the perpetrator due to the fact of jones having a shaved head while the perpetrator had hair that would be exposed under the beanie. (Julius Jones was not allowed to have dreads or any type of long hair per OU Basketball Policy back in the 90’s)

      1. Julius was NOT on any OU athletic teams, he was on a Presidents Leadership Class scholarship which acknowledges high school activities, grades, etc. However, he was only on the scholarship for a semester and was on academic probation, which he mentioned in his remarks.

      2. C Taylor – Incorrect. Howell’s sister indicated that the shooter had “half an inch to an inch of hair sticking out” from his bandanna. In court when questioned about that she confirmed that she was talking about sideburns, as what Jones had, and she explicitly said they were NOT cornrows like what Jordon had! And then there is the little matter of the bandanna that the murder weapon was wrapped in – DNA 100% linked that bandanna to Jones and 0% to Jordon.

  2. When they continue to push the ‘at home playing games’ alibi which we know to be a lie, they lose my attention. If you are going to lead off with lies then why should I listen to you. I have see no reason to throw out the jury’s decisions.

  3. Il est très probablement innocent, vous n’ avez pas le droit de l’ exécuter, mettez vous un peu à sa place, en taule depuis 20 ans alors qu il y a des faits qui prouvent son innocence.
    Mettez vous à sa place, mettez vous dans sa peau

  4. The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board has voted only 5 times since 1973 for the Governor to commute someone’s sentence. Julius’ case is unprecedented.

    Nearly half of Bob Macy’s death sentences were later reversed by the courts.

    3 witnesses have come forward saying that Christopher Jordan admitted to killing Howell. 

    Jones had only pleaded guilty to PETTY LARCENY before Paul Howell was murdered and was never was charged with ARMED ROBBERY and FELONY FIREARM VIOLATION in CARJACKING until 5 years after it happened.  He was in prison for a murder he didn’t commit (my opinion) and was following his attorney’s advice to plead guilty because he would have served the time, etc. 

    I find it nearly impossible that all 4 family members would lie for 20+ years – I believe he was home at the time of the murder 

    1. Regardless of what he says, Julius pled guilty to ARMED ROBBERY and FELONY FIREARM VIOLATION IN CARJACKING
      (which was identical to the Howell case with a bandanna and gun to the head)
      this is not someone to let out of prison. NO excuse for a guilty plea.
      The Jones family seems nice, but the “spaghetti dinner” alibi was shown to be false years ago at an evidentiary hearing, when new lawyers took over the appeal and made inadequate defense part of their argument. So, the trial court had to have a hearing to see if all possible defenses were raised. Jones lawyer testified Jones himself said it was false, and a neighbor testified she was requested to verify this alibi but that it was FALSE.
      14 state and federal courts have examined the evidence, witness testimony, exhibits and arguments. The Pardon and Paroled board held an “Oprah” style meeting with no fact checking
      The Courts upheld the verdict and sentence of the jury. The law must be upheld, and the only person who could have prevented this mess is Julius

      1. Our justice system is based on Guilty BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT – robbery doesn’t equal murder. Not all testimonies were heard. Who are you to play GOD and teach a lesson for stealing by supporting a life being taken away. You sound self righteous and prejudiced, do you know that? If even other conservatives are concerned – there needs to be a RETRIAL – also why not use DNA evidence we’re not in the stone ages and I’m sure this could be proven. AG sounds like he likes to play God, is on a power trip, without asking what a fair trial means and more, what Christ would do? How dare you people think it’s ok to take life away – like it’s nothing – a superiority complex is toxic and lethal you have no shame –

      2. Shelly – They DNA-tested the bandanna that the murder weapon was wrapped in. 100% confirmed it belonged to Julius Jones!

  5. It’s always easy you say KILL HIM/HER. In reality we know that if this was a situation involving yall (the ones who want him dead) loved ones y’all would not ask for the death penalty. Oklahoma is a bible built state but yet still wan to play God and take lives. We also know that most attornies will tell a black man to just plead guilty because if they fight for they rights then they will basically through them under the cell. The system is not just for colored people period. There are more black innocent men in jail pleading guilty because they are advised that it will help them. In reality it harms them. People are sworn in to tell the truth but yet attorneys get paid to lie and get people off with the proper amount of money. So again taking a life is not the answer.we are not God.

    1. Un juré de ses pairs l’ à jugé coupable tout est dit ?
      Mais vous savez qu aux États-Unis quand on est noir on a 100 fois plus de chance de se retrouver dans le couloir de la mort qu un blanc, il y en a combien qui vont se faire buter alors qu ils sont innocents ?
      Et pour l’ affaire Julius Jones vous vous êtes renseignée sur le sujet, il y a plein de preuves qu il est innocent, c est Jordan qui a tué Howell pas Jones.
      Comment pouvez-vous dire quelque chose comme ça, vous ne comprenez pas qu un homme innocent risque d être exécuté dans 6 jours ?

    1. Were they his “peers”? When one juror suggested lynching him? Is he guilty beyond a reasonable doubt? Guilty or innocent, does he deserve to die? Was this a fair trial?? Could you be a juror in this case and be comfortable sentencing him to death??

      1. Luke 23:43 is always an option. When poor decisions are made in this life we have negative consequences. Just as in Luke 23: 43, the individual who hung on a cross was aware of that. But instead of focusing on this life, only, he realized the Only Savior, was on a cross beside him. The gentlemen whose life was taken didn’t deserve to die. Let’s remember that. They’re the real victims here

  6. Think for a moment that it is your son sitting in a cell awaiting execution in a week’s time and you had the power to grant a stay of execution……. Would you?
    To avoid the question and say “my son would not do this thing” Julius said he didn’t either.
    If you decide to save your son you must save Julius because the facts are the same and you are in danger of confirming a two tier justice system

    1. Mike – I am against the death penalty, so in principle I agree with you. However, Jones is 100% guilty, and that puts my own morals up against this. I’d be happy if they could give him life without parole, but it appears that the possibility of parole is inherent in any sentence commutation in Oklahoma, and that is unfair to the Howell family who have suffered enough and shouldn’t have to attend parole hearings for the rest of Jones’ life.

  7. I have never advocated for the death penalty, but the case of Julius Jones seeking to leverage and promote his notoriety and all the false denials of reality. He now denies that he pled guilty to ARMED ROBBERY AND CARJACKING that was identical to the Howell carjacking/murder. The situation with murder charges is that the appeals last for 20-30 years and the witnesses die off and attorneys retire and no one is left to pick up the pieces. In numerous gang-related cases the witnesses and their families get intimidated by gang threats and then recant or muddy the waters with double talk.

    There is just no reasonable doubt in the Jones case. I for one do not think of the death penalty as a first choice, but with so many Kardashian followers that is the only way to end this. Otherwise we will have annual hearing for life, just like in California it seems like the Manson family is continually asking for parole and some liberals think that supporting release of violent criminals is like having a “Save the Whales” bumpersticker…

    VIOLENT CRIMINALS SHOULD NOT BE TURNED LOOSE. Jones in particular is trying to become a celebrity getting his cellphone with thousands of calls arranging art shows, t shirt deals, tennis shoe designs. He is attempting to be an ANTI-HERO (celebrity advocating violence) like Malcolm X
    Time for this drama to be over
    The only person that could have prevented this mess is Julius
    The final week of this matter should be prayer by all sides

  8. I’ll say at the outset that I don’t necessarily support execution. I’d be fine with a life without the possibility of parole sentence. But PLEASE stop saying he’s innocent! The evidence against Julius Jones is overwhelming.

    All of the following are well established:

    1. He has admitted to a history of carjacking.
    2. He was identified by his clothing and bandanna at the time of the murder.
    3. He was found in possession of the murder weapon.
    4. The murder weapon was wrapped in a red bandanna with his DNA on it.
    5. The DNA on the bandanna DID NOT match Jordan.
    6. He admitted to being in possession of the vehicle stolen during the murder.
    7. His alibi story has been disproved by a family friend who has presented evidence to support her claim.

    This list could go on and on.

    This man is guilty! There is absolutely no question about his guilt. Please stop saying he’s innocent. It’s an insult to justice and an insult to the memory of Paul Howell, the man Julius Jones murdered in cold blood.

    1. DWAIN – I am against the death penalty, so would also approve of life without parole. What I don’t approve of is forcing the Howell family to attend parole hearings every year for the rest of Jones’ life when he is clearly guilty of the murder. Unfortunately that’s not how the law appears to be set up in Oklahoma.

      1. Wow! Julius Jones is a cold blooded murderer. There is a mountain of evidence supporting that conclusion. To believe he’s innocent requires a level of cognitive dissonance that’s shocking. And, in light of this, your response is to blame the family of the executed man? You need to do some deep soul searching, Princess. I feel sorry for you. Your bitterness is clouding your vision.

  9. Prayers for the Howell family and Prayers for the Jones family…

    Let us all pray for every one involved

    I wish so much that Julius had not chosen a path of crime…

  10. What are all of you going to be saying if Julius Jones is executed and Chris Jordan admits that he & his brother planted the gun in Julius’s house after wrapping it in a bandana that was Julius’s?

    Chris Jordan is a monster & he didn’t work alone. He went to my school and was always in serious trouble till being expelled.
    Chris would set anyone up and let them take the fall for his wrongdoing. How else did a kid that was kicked out of Edmond schools meet a straight A PLC Honor Student named Julius Jones. Why did Julius hang with him & trust him? Julius thought Chris was helping him while giving him a place to stay the night they set him up & called the cops on him! Very sad.

  11. Julius is admitted and known ARMED ROBBER and CARJACKER. He used an identical carjacking method 6 days prior to the Howell carjacking.

    Julius was in a bandanna, with a gun pointed to the victims head and demanding car keys. HE PLED GUILTY.

    There is no reasonable doubt about Julius.

    read the facts in the case, make informed decision, see key word search:


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