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Oklahoma Pardon And Parole Board Votes To Hold Enhanced Second Commutation Hearing In Julius Jones Case

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Julius Jones

The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted Monday to give death row prisoner Julius Jones a longer second stage commutation hearing to better understand the details of his case.

Jones was convicted of murdering Edmond man Paul Howell in 1999. Jones claims he is innocent.

The board already voted to move Julius Jones to the second round of their process. Then the board postponed Jones’ hearing to give him a chance to have an enhanced one.

The enhancement will allow groups supporting and opposing Jones’ commutation more time to speak than is normally allowed. It’s a new option the board approved, largely to accommodate the complex nature of death penalty cases.

Board Chair Adam Luck said each group will have 30 minutes to present their case.

"So, that will be 30 minutes for the victims and representatives, 30 minutes for the district attorney's office and 30 minutes for the individual and their representation as well," said Luck.

The same accommodation will be available in future commutation hearings at the board’s discretion after a list of new rules approved by the board takes effect in early September.

Jones’ hearing is scheduled for September 13.

Jones' case has attracted the attention of criminal justice advocates and celebrities who want to see him released from death row.

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