Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Nov 18, 2021 / 12:21 pm
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City praised Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) for his “tremendous courage” in granting convicted murderer Julius Jones clemency hours ahead of his scheduled execution on Nov. 18.
“It took tremendous courage in the face of intense pressure for Gov. Stitt to grant clemency in this case,” said Coakley, in a statement released shortly after the governor commuted Jones’ sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
“I applaud his commitment to seeking justice while providing the condemned an opportunity for redemption,” the archbishop continued. “To oppose the death penalty is not to be soft on crime. Rather, it is to be strong on the dignity of life.”
Earlier on Thursday, Coakley tweeted that he “offered Mass this morning for Julis and Gov. Stitt. It’s in the Lord’s hands now.” The Archdiocese of OKlahoma City had planned several simultaneous prayer vigils throughout the archdiocese in the hour before Jones was set to be executed.