Supporters of Julius Jones after the decision
Photo: Ian Maule / AP
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt has converted inmate Julius Jones' death sentence into life imprisonment at the last minute. Thursday's Stitts order said that it would mean that Jones would not be allowed to request any commutation of his sentence, parole or pardon for the rest of his life. Jones' execution was also scheduled for Thursday. Stitt stopped the execution around four hours before the scheduled execution. The 41-year-old African American was sentenced to death for allegedly shooting a businessman in 1999.
The accused and his numerous supporters have always protested their innocence.
TV star Kim Kardashian visited Jones about a year ago and stood up for him.
Previously, a documentary had already drawn public attention to Jones' case.
Public pressure grew on the Conservative governor to prevent Jones from being executed.
Stitt made his decision after "careful consideration" and after reviewing the documents submitted by all sides, he announced via Twitter and in a message.
At the end of October, Oklahoma authorities had a man executed for the first time in more than six years.
The 60-year-old was injected with a deadly poison.
Jones' execution would have been the second after the break.
In Oklahoma, executions with lethal injection were suspended in 2015.
The next execution is due to take place in a few days
At the beginning of last year, the responsible authorities in the state then announced that they would carry out executions with lethal injection again because a "reliable supply" of medication was guaranteed.
In the last execution in Oklahoma before the suspension in January 2015, an agent was used that was not intended for an execution.
According to the NGO Death Penalty Information Center, the next execution is due in Oklahoma on December 9th.
In 27 of 50 US states, the death penalty has not been abolished or suspended by a moratorium.
ngo / dpa / afp