With hours to go, Julius Jones supporters await Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt’s clemency decision

With nearly 24 hours before Julius Jones’ planned execution, his supporters are rallying at the Oklahoma State Capitol and across Oklahoma City to express their support for leniency.

Jones’ execution is slated for Thursday afternoon, despite widespread and bipartisan concerns about his case.

The Oklahoma Pardons and Parole Board recommended commutation, then leniency, for Jones, but the decision ultimately rests with Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, who has not announced his decision. Wednesday afternoon. Two of the three votes to recommend clemency for Jones came from board members appointed by Stitt.

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Julius Jones

Here’s why Julius Jones’ fate belongs to Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt

UPDATE: November 17, 2021 at 6:40 p.m. CST

Many people may be familiar with the fact that the United States Supreme Court is weighing down an execution hours before its scheduled date. But that won’t happen here because Jones has already exhausted all of his calls.

Jones used all of his legal options, said Vanessa Potkin, director of special litigation at the Innocence Project who advised the case.

“Once your legal claims are exhausted, it’s extremely difficult to get back to court,” Potkin said. “There has to be a legal basis. And so leniency… exists for people like Julius who… have gone through legal process, and yet still have a claim of innocence or some other reason for you preventing an execution.”

The Takeaway speaks with a member of Jones’ legal delegation

UPDATE: November 17, 2021 at 6:08 p.m. CST

On Wednesday, The Takeaway spoke with Oklahoma-based lawyer Kelli Masters, who was part of Jones’ legal delegation during his switch hearing in September.

Masters was initially skeptical of Jones’ innocence, but after reviewing the evidence, he was convinced Jones had been wrongly convicted.

Take-out host Melissa Harris-Perry also shared her thoughts on Jones’ case and his pending execution.

“I’m not sure Julius Jones is innocent,” Harris-Perry said. “But more importantly, the state of Oklahoma is not sure Julius Jones is guilty.”

Citing execution flaws, Oklahoma Pardons and Parole Board recommends leniency for Bigler Stouffer

UPDATE: November 17, 2021 at 5:58 p.m. CST

The Oklahoma Pardons and Parole Board met on Wednesday as three of its five members recommended clemency for another death row inmate, Bigler Jobe Stouffer II. The commission’s recommendation for leniency is for life without parole.

While the board has expressed concerns over Jones’ innocence, this was not the case for Stouffer, who was convicted of the 1985 shooting death of the elementary school teacher. from Putnam City, Linda Reaves.

The five board members said they believed Stouffer was guilty, but those who voted for leniency said they had serious issues with what happened with the executions in Oklahoma. .

“The last four [executions] if you go back six or seven years, well, that process is obviously flawed. We have had individuals on the table suffering for 20 and 30 minutes, ”said Larry Morris, Board Member. “I don’t think a human society should execute people this way, until we figure out how to do it right. “

Security increases at the Capitol, the governor’s mansion

UPDATE: November 17, 2021 at 4:18 p.m. CST

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is stepping up security this week at the governor’s mansion and state capital ahead of Stitt’s decision whether or not to grant Jones clemency.

It comes after supporters of Jones took part in peaceful protests at both locations. Barriers have been placed along NE 23rd Street, next to the Governor’s Mansion. Stitt and his family do not reside in the Governor’s mansion, but rather in a private residence in Edmond.

According to a press release, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol is ready to act if rallies or protests turn violent.

In an email sent to staff and members, the Oklahoma House of Representatives offices will close at noon on Thursday and all non-essential employees will be able to leave at that time. No reason has been given for the early shutdown as lawmakers hold a special session on redistribution.

Jones’s execution is scheduled for Thursday afternoon at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. The Oklahoma Pardons and Parole Board recommended leniency for Jones. Now it’s up to Stitt to make the final decision.

Hundreds of Oklahoma City students walk out of classrooms

ORIGINAL POSITION: November 17, 2021 at 2:59 p.m. CST

On Wednesday, across Oklahoma City, hundreds of high school students walked out of their classrooms and rallied to ask for clemency for Jones.

Student activists from across town gathered on their school grounds or marched to the state capital. Reported walkouts include those at John Marshall, Classen SAS, Putnam City West, Putnam City North, Star Spencer, and Harding Charter Preparatory High School.

News helicopters flew over, capturing the views of children coming out of buildings and on the football fields and parking lots.

Oklahoma City Public Schools expressed support for the students for expressing their views in a statement to reporters.

“OKCPS supports the rights of our students to peaceful assembly and their freedom of expression,” the statement read. “We worked closely with the students and student groups who wanted to come together today to provide a safe space for them to express themselves on a topic they are passionate about. “

Jones was an honorary student and a two-sports athlete at John Marshall High School in Oklahoma City. He graduated from school in 1998. A year later he was arrested and charged with murder in the carjacking and the shooting death of Paul Howell.



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