Julius Jones has been on death row for over 20 years for a murder millions believe he didn't commit. Tuesday, the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole vote voted 4-1 to grant clemency to Jones and recommended his sentence be reduced to life with the possibility of parole. Now, it is up to Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt to sign off on the recommendation and prevent Jone's execution, scheduled for November 19.
Oklahoma again received nationwide criticism for another botched execution last week, when, according to AP writer Sean Murphy and other reporters who were present, John Marion Grant convulsed over a dozen times and vomited during his execution. Meanwhile, Jones and another high profile death row inmate in Oklahoma, Richard Glossip, are scheduled to be put to death despite compelling evidence supporting their innocence.
Jones' family and supporters have urged others to contact Gov. Stitt and ask that he sign off on the Board's recommendation, which would take Julius Jones off of death row and allow efforts to have him released to continue. Below is a letter sent to Gov. Stitt by OKC activist Chris Johnston:
Dear Governor Kevin Stitt,
In a functional democracy, we rely on justice and the rule of law to maintain that democracy and we respect the democratic processes we have to keep our country a functional democracy. The Pardon and Parole Board did its job that you and our state demanded it to do. It recommended that our brother Mr. Julius Darius Jones be taken off death row and return into the arms of his brave and loving family and that is what needs to happen. Politics and what is easy needs to be pushed aside and justice needs to prevail sir. One of my favorite quotes reads:
“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”
President John Adams.
It has been proven by this process that the state got this case wrong. This process is the check and balance within our system that ensures our government got such an important case right, or that we got it wrong and we need to correct that drastic injustice. Governor Stitt, this man, Mr. Julius Darius Jones. has suffered long enough and needs to return to his family. He has been in a cage for 22 years for a crime he has not committed according to all of the factual evidence.
The Pardon and Parole Board did their job as they swore an oath to, and I am asking you to do yours. I know something about taking an oath and its importance. I spent roughly 10 years in the Army and fought 2 wars for my country so an oath is very serious to me as well as the overwhelming majority of people in this state and country. Governor Stitt, you swore an oath to this state and it is time we the people demand you uphold it. It's time our brother comes home for it is the honorable and decent thing to do. Please, sir, be on the correct side of history.
Mr. Christopher Johnston
Contact Gov. Stitt at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (405) 777-7840