Thank Gov. Stitt for Stopping Julius Jones's Execution!
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt
Julius Jones was scheduled to be executed in Oklahoma on November 18, 2021. With just hours to go before he was to be killed, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt stopped the execution and commuted his death sentence to life WITHOUT the possibility of parole. We are grateful Julius is still alive, but we are not satisfied. Julius Jones should be free.
Compelling evidence shows that Julius was wrongfully convicted for the murder of Paul Howell in 1999. A clemency hearing was held on November 1st, 2021 resulting in a favorable vote of 3-1 with one likely supporting vote abstaining. The recommendation was for a commutation to live WITH the possibility of parole. In a previous commutation hearing in September, the same Oklahoma Pardons and Parole Board also voted to recommend commutation to a sentence of life WITH the possibility of parole.
See the Thank you text below:
Further BACKGROUND on Julius Jones
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In a case riddled with odious racial discrimination — including a police officer’s use of a racial slur during Mr. Jones’ arrest and the State’s removal of all prospective black jurors except one — evidence shows that a juror used the n-word before jury deliberations at the sentencing phase.
Concerns have arisen that call into question Jones's conviction and sentence:
- Eyewitnesses place Mr. Jones at his parents’ home at the time of the murder, miles away from the crime scene.
- Mr. Jones’ co-defendant admitted to being involved in the crime and is now free after testifying against Julius. He was heard bragging that he “set Julius up.” Mr. Jones’ co-defendant matches the only eyewitness description of the shooter based on the length of his hair.
- Newly-discovered evidence shows that at least one juror harbored racial prejudice that influenced his vote to convict and sentence Mr. Jones to death. One juror reported telling the judge about another juror who said the trial was a waste of time and “they should just take the n***** out and shoot him behind the jail.
Please sign the petition asking Governor Stitt to do everything within his power to ensure Jones does not face execution and to commute his sentence to live WITH the possibility of parole.
[NOTE: This petition language is fluid and will shift as the events dictate in the coming weeks, but it will always be about stopping executions and freeing Julius Jones.]
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt
From: [Your Name]
We are writing to you to thank you for not executing Julius Jones. We are grateful that he is still alive.
We remain dismayed, however, that you have ignored not one but TWO votes of the Oklahoma Pardons & Parole Board to commute Julius's sentence to one that would allow the possibility of eventual freedom.
Many concerns have arisen that call into question Jones's conviction and sentence, including racial discrimination, newly-discovered evidence and a confession to the crime by a co-defendant. All of this was detailed in a clemency hearing on November 1st, resulting in a 3-1 vote in favor of commutation to a sentence of life WITH the possibility of parole.
We, the undersigned, ask you to amend your commutation order allow for the possibility of parole.
Thank you for time and attention to this urgent and serious matter.