He is due to die Nov. 18 at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester.
Jones has maintained his innocence. He has mounted a public relations campaign that includes celebrities and athletes, and his case has gained national attention.
Howell’s family believe the Pardons and Parole Board did wrong in voting for a commutation.
Family members said the board was acting like a super jury, substituting its opinion for that of the jury that delivered the verdict and the appellate courts that upheld it.
They also say that the Pardons and Parole Board revived the case, which was not its role.
The Oklahoma Constitution requires the board of directors to conduct an impartial investigation and review of applicants for commutation, pardon or parole.
According to the Pardons and Parole Board, there are three grounds for commutation.
One is that given the range of penalties for the crime, the penalty is now excessive.
Another is that there are facts that were not available to the court or jury at the time of the trial, which Jones claimed in his application to the Pardons and Parole Board. According to the board, its staff verify the claimant’s allegation of new facts before recording it for the board to consider.