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All eyes on Oklahoma’s governor
The bill, if passed, would then go to the Senate where it’s likely to be reshaped by moderate Democrats like Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia who could demand even more cuts for his vote.
Crickets are coming from the Sooner State as activists, elected officials and opponents of the death penalty wait for word from Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma on if he’ll block the execution of Julius Jones.
Jones’s case has attracted national attention from celebrities like Kim Kardashian-West and J. Cole amid compelling evidence that supports the 41-year-old’s wrongful conviction. The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board recommended clemency for Jones in a 3–1 vote earlier this month. But the recommendation has to be accepted by Gov. Stitt for Jones’s death sentence to be commuted. He has until 4 p.m. Central time to make a decision. At press time, preparations for Jones’s execution were underway.
The Supreme Court vacated a stay from a federal appellate court that would have postponed the executions of Jones and another imprisoned person, John Marion Grant, due to an ongoing lawsuit against the state's use of midazolam, a drug used in several high-profile and inhumane executions. (The drug is viewed by medical experts as too weak of a sedative to be appropriate for capital punishment.) Grant died by lethal injection earlier this month.
Learn more about Julius’s case at Justice for Julius Jones.