Kim Kardashian West visits Oklahoma death row inmate Julius Jones in latest bid for criminal justice reform
The business mogul, ever since she worked with President Donald Trump to commute the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, has been a staunch and outspoken supporter of criminal justice reform
Reality television star, Kim Kardashian, on Tuesday, November 24, visited death row inmate Julius Jones in her latest attempt to advocate for justice reform. The business mogul, ever since she worked with President Donald Trump to commute the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, has been a staunch and outspoken supporter of criminal justice reform. Johnson, convicted for a nonviolent drug trafficking offense was released after 21 years.
Kardashian visited Jones in Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester and reportedly also met with his family at a nearby church there. Jones, a Black man, was arrested at the age of 19 for fatally shooting 45-year-old Paul Howell in 1999. In 2002, Jones was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. However, many experts familiar with the case have since said that Jones was given an inadequate defense for a murder trial and was racially profiled.
Amber Integrated, a public affairs firm advocating for Jones’ release, in a press release, stated that Kardashian became interested in Jones' case after she saw the three-hour ABC documentary 'The Last Defense', produced by Viola Davis. Supporters of Jones' release have also set up a Change.org petition for him, where over six million people have signed asking the Pardon and Parole Board and Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt to commute his sentence.
Jones' mother, Madeline Jones, in a press release, stated: "Our family knows that Julius did not commit this murder, because Julius was at home with us at the time of the murder. We were at home playing board games and eating spaghetti. The judge and jury that convicted and sentenced my son to die never heard that we were having a family game night. Julius' attorney never gave us the opportunity to tell them about where Julius was. My son did not kill anyone because he was home with his family."
The press release also stated that since Jones' conviction, his defense team admitted that they were not prepared for the trial at the time and did not call any witnesses to his defense, nor did they present an alibi. Ever since Jones' conviction, multiple prisoners have come forward to offer sworn statements that his co-defendant in the case has openly bragged about framing Jones for a light sentence for himself, Amber Integrated noted.
It was reported earlier this year that Kardashian had helped free 17 inmates in just 90 days by funding a criminal justice campaign secretly, according to reports. The reality TV star reportedly joined hands with attorney Brittany K Barnett of the Buried Alive Project, which has assisted in freeing at least 17 prisoners as part of its 90 Days of Freedom campaign. Under the campaign, the TV personality began her social justice bid by petitioning President Trump over the release of Tennesse grandmother Alice Marie Johnson last year in June. Soon after Kardashian met Trump at the White House, the 63-year-old was pardoned by the president. The television star has since joined multiple campaigns to get other inmates out of prisons across the country. All the inmates freed had been handed significant prison sentences for low-level drug offenses. A few of Kardashian's campaigns to get inmates freed have received wide publicity, including that of former sex slave Cyntoia Brown, Jeffrey Stringer and Johnson.