Letter to The Honorable Kevin Stitt, Governor of Oklahoma

Richard Branson looking pensive
John Armstrong
Virgin Galactic
Richard Branson's signature
Published on 18 November 2021

Dear Governor Stitt,

Millions of people have made their voices heard in recent days and weeks, asking you to save the life of Julius Jones, whose execution is scheduled to take place at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary later today. 

Like countless others, including the American Conservative Union and the Archbishop of Oklahoma City, I share the concern that there is more than reasonable doubt about Julius’ guilt in the horrific 1999 murder of Paul Howell.

And that reasonable, lingering doubt is what has prompted your state’s own Pardon and Parole Board twice to recommend clemency.

Governor, it’s no secret where I stand on the death penalty. I know the world would be a better place without it. But no matter what your position, you must agree that no innocent person deserves to die. In Julius’ case, that risk is too great.

At this moment, the decision whether a fellow human being will live or die rests solely with you. Please choose life. I respectfully ask that you follow the Board’s recommendation and grant clemency to Julius Jones. It’s the fair and just thing to do.


Sir Richard Branson