Six other execution dates were also announced Monday, September 20 in this south central state of the United States. Oklahoma authorities set death sentence for November 18, whose guilt gives rise to such doubts that the state pardon office advised to commute his sentence.
Julius Jones, a 41-year-old African American, was sentenced in 2002 to death for the murder of a white businessman he has always denied. He claims to have been trapped by the perpetrator, to have been poorly defended by his first lawyers, and to have been discriminated against during the trial.
His case has been the subject of a documentary series and a podcast and he is supported by many associations and personalities like Kim Kardashian, convinced of his innocence. He lost all of his legal remedies, but the Oklahoma Pardons Office last week recommended commute his sentence to life imprisonment.
Executions suspended after two “failures”
The decision is now in the hands of Republican Governor Kevin Stitt who said he wanted to carefully examine his case. “Oklahoma must not allow the execution of an innocent man“, said his lawyer, Amanda Bass, in a statement, hoping that the governor commutes his sentence before this deadline.
Oklahoma only proceeded to no executions in the last six years. She had suspended the application of the death penalty following two “failed” executions : in 2014, Clayton Lockett succumbed to apparent pain 43 minutes after the start of the lethal injection. In 2015, Charles Warner complained that his “body burns” before dying, the executioners having used a non-compliant product.