Will Julius Jones be executed? Speculation guv could side with Kim Kardashian
Julius Jones is scheduled to receive a lethal injection on Thursday, November 18, for the 1999 shooting death of Paul Howell
OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA: The final fate of Julius Jones now lies with Oklahoma Governer Kevin Stitt. Jones, 41, has now served almost 20 years on death row with numerous questions being raised about his guilt. Julius Jones is scheduled to receive a lethal injection on Thursday, November 18, for the 1999 fatal shooting of Paul Howell, a businessman from an Oklahoma City suburb. Jones has maintained that he is not guilty of the crime. Howell was shot to death in the driveway of his parents’ home in Edmond, Oklahoma, on July 28, 1999, and his daughter claimed that she saw Jones shoot her father in the head.
There were claims of innocence and controversy surrounding Jones' trial. The inmate and his defense team have argued that he was at home when the murder took place. They have also claimed that his co-defendant, Christopher Jordan, is the real murderer.
A number of celebrities continued pleading for Jones' clemency, including reality star Kim Kardashian, who has been lobbying Stitt to follow Parole Board's recommendation and grant clemency to Jones. Besides Kardashian, NBA players including Russell Westbrook, Trae Young and Blake Griffin have also urged officials to commute the sentence. Jones' family and supporters have been pressuring Stitt to commute his sentence to life in prison. Stitt, however, has not yet indicated that he is considering these pleas.
"This is the cold machinery of the Death Penalty in America. In just over two weeks, an innocent man could be put to death. My heart breaks for Julius and so many others who have suffered from such tragic miscarriage of justice," Kardashian wrote as part of a series of tweets. "The state is so bent on vengeance that they will make every effort to ensure they get to kill Julius- including reviving him if he happens to go into cardiac arrest prior to the execution," she wrote in another tweet.
This is the cold machinery of the Death Penalty in America. In just over two weeks, an innocent man could be put to death. My heart breaks for Julius and so many others who have suffered from such tragic miscarriage of justice.— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) November 16, 2021
The state is so bent on vengeance that they will make every effort to ensure they get to kill Julius- including reviving him if he happens to go into cardiac arrest prior to the execution. pic.twitter.com/cyXLGhoEmt— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) November 16, 2021
In fact, Rev Marvin L Morgan, of Charlottesville, Virginia, submitted a letter to the governor's staff, claiming he is ready to be executed in place of Jones if the man is denied clemency. "I am here in Oklahoma today because I've made an offer to Gov Stitt that if another Black man is going to be killed under the guise of capital punishment, that it could be any Black man," Rev Morgan said. "So I would like the governor to allow me to lie on that table and to die in place of Julius Jones."
Jones has no pending appeals. However, the state's Pardon and Parole Board twice voted 3-1 to recommend that Jones' death sentence be commuted. Addressing the governer, each time the board said that there are doubts about the evidence in Jones' case. In fact, two of the three members appointed by Stitt — Adam Luck and Kelly Doyle — urged for cemency. Larry Morris, who is the third member, was appointed by the Court of Criminal Appeals.
On the day of Jones’ clemency hearing, Luck said, "Personally, I believe in death penalty cases there should be no doubts. And put simply, I have doubts about this case." There are speculations that Stitt might consider commuting Jones' sentence to life in prison, with or without the chance for parole, although he has said very little about his decision publicly. “The governor takes his role in this process seriously and will carefully consider the Pardon and Parole Board’s recommendation as he does in all cases,” Stitt spokeswoman Carly Atchison said in a statement. “We will not have any further comment until the governor has made a decision.”