Julius Jones files last-minute bid to avoid execution in Oklahoma

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Julius Jones, a death row prisoner who has been Fighting what he says has been a wrongful murder sentence for the past two decades, made a final written appeal to Oklahoma officials Friday before its scheduled November execution.

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The police investigation and subsequent prosecution that put him behind bars was “fundamentally flawed,” according to a clemency petition sent to Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt and the state pardon and parole board, which last month extended Jones’ sentence to prison. Voted to recommend the change in possibility of parole.

Jones’ attorney Amanda Bass said, “We hope that the additional evidence presented in these clemency proceedings will strengthen the board’s preliminary vote to recommend that Julius’s death sentence be commuted and Governor Stitt Oklahoma execute an innocent man.” Will exercise my right not to.” A statement accompanying the petition.

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Governor Stitt has said that he will not give a final decision in this appeal until Jones’ clemency hearing after on 26 October. If the governor refuses to intervene in the case, Jones has exhausted his legal remedies and will be executed on November 18 following the Oklahoma appeals court’s September decision.

The entire process that indicted the young black man for the sensational murder of white Oklahoma City businessman Paul Howell in 1999 was flawed, Jones’ lawyers argue, from a police investigation that starred him as racially biased and prosecutor. Considered a suspect for the testing process. Inappropriate.

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“Because of a fundamental breakdown in the system that worked to decide Julius’ guilt, the jury that voted to convict and sentence Julius did so on the basis of a fundamentally flawed and incomplete record, which gave them the judgment of Julius. Left without powerful evidence of innocence,” the petition read. “Had that evidence been presented, we know from the affidavits of the three jurors who served on Julius’ jury that it could have made a significant difference.”

Public defenders representing Jones argue that the original jury did not hear significant evidence. Key issues, they suggest, include that the jury was unaware that the state’s case was built on the evidence of two people with criminal histories and the record of being informants to the Oklahoma police, who needed promise or expected benefit for their testimony. was given.

The petition also argues that the incompetent team of the original public defenders for Jones did not call a single witness in its defense, including family members who said Jones was at home at the time of the murder, or that the jury Notify that a prisoner said he had heard another man named Chris Jordan confess to the crime, which he denies.

A jury member came forward after the trial, saying that a colleague had made racist remarks about the case, saying the officers “need to take this n***** and shoot him, and take him down to prison.” must be buried,” but was still allowed to vote on the final sentence.

After hanging around for years, Jones’ case has inspired the “Justice for Julius” movement in recent years, and a growing number of community members, activists, and Hollywood celebrities, including Kim Kardashian and actress Viola Davis, have spoken about her story. I have produced a documentary, have asked for its release.

“People should care because we are living in the era of George Floyd,” said Seuss Jones-Davis, a leader of the Julius Movement for Justice. Granthshala. “We watched in horror what happened to that man, how the system was knee-deep on George Floyd’s neck. Now we see that the knee of the system is on the neck of the other man.”

Mr Howell’s family, as well as a host of current and former Oklahoma law enforcement officers, say Jones is the right person to plead guilty to the crime, which Jones found on a bandana wrapped around a murder weapon. K’s DNA, as well as his previous criminal background.

They are also upset with the increasing celebrity and media attention on the matter.

“These celebrities and influencers don’t bother to contact us about it. I think the most frustrating thing about all of this is you impress your followers. If you’re a celebrity, an influencer, an athlete, you have a lot of followers who look up to you,” Paul’s daughter Rachel Howell told Oklahoma kfor, the day Julius was recommended for commutation. “I think the only thing I want these celebrities to know is to think about the family of the victims. At least take the time to look at both sides. You don’t have all the information.”

“It’s David vs. Goliath,” said Clayton Howell, nephew of Paul Howell.

He said he was “devastated” by the recommendation for commutation, calling the legal process.fair in any way

If the clemency process is not successful, Jones will be one of the first men executed by the state of Oklahoma after a six-year stagnation followed by a series of unsuccessful executions.

independent and non-profit Responsible Business Initiative for Justice (RBIJ) has launched a joint campaign to abolish the death penalty in the US. The RBIJ has attracted over 150 well-known signatories with its Business Leaders Declaration against the Death Penalty – The Granthshala as the latest on the list. We join high-profile executives like Ariana Huffington, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, and Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson as part of this initiative and pledge to highlight the injustice of the death penalty in their coverage.

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Credit: www.independent.co.uk /

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