Jones is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on Thursday. The 41-year-old inmate has spent more than half of his life in prison, after being convicted of murdering businessman Paul Howell during a 1999 carjacking when he was 19-years-old – a crime he maintains he did not commit.
The Kardashian issued a statement after Jones’ mother was refused an 11th-hour meeting with Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, in a last-ditch attempt to call off her son’s execution.
“This is the cold machinery of the death penalty,” Ms Kardashian wrote on her Twitter account, “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.”
On 1 November, Oklahoma’s Pardon and Parole Board voted 3-1 that Governor Stitt should grant clemency to Jones, meaning instead of the death penalty he would serve life in prison, but his execution is set to go ahead this week.
Ms Kardashian has pressured Governor Stitt to take the Parole Board’s recommendation: “We are all anxiously awaiting a decision from Governor Stitt,” she wrote.
“He can choose to accept the recommendation (for a second time) from the Parole Board, to grant Julius Clemency/Life w. the possibility of parole or have him executed Thursday the 18th.
“Julius, his family and everyone on his team are still hopeful Stitt will do the right thing. Today Julius’ family and close friends received invites to his execution. I can’t even imagine how they all must be feeling right now.”
Ms Kardashian has been outspoken on her anti-death penalty views – in several passionate tweets she laid out to her 70 million followers the harsh realities of how a person’s life is ended if they are given the death penalty.
“#JuliusJones has been on death watch for more than two weeks. In preparation for his execution on 18 November, he is alone in his prison cell just feet away from the executioner’s chamber,” she wrote.
“He has been strip-searched, x-rayed, and issued a new set of clothes, shoes, mattress and bedding,” she continues outlining that his meals are logged, he has designated who will receive his remains after his death, his phone privileges will be terminated and he will be checked every 15 minutes before he is put to death.
Julius, his family and everyone on his team are still hopeful Stitt will do the right thing. Today Julius' family and close friends received invites to his execution. I can’t even imagine how they all must be feeling right now.— 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,” continued Ms Kardashian.
Jones’s mother Madeline Davis-Jones wrote a desperate hand-written letter to Governor Stitt and made her way to his office on Monday in an attempt to change his mind. She was not granted a meeting. Instead, the chief of communications, Charlie Hannema, delivered a message to the family:
“We’ve received your letter, the governor is going to take [the letter] into consideration. We got a process, not gonna be meeting,” he said before turning around and walking back into the office and shutting the door behind him.
The Howell family has maintained that Jones was responsible for the murder of their relative Paul Howell. “We feel confident Governor Stitt sees past Jones propaganda and sees who Julius Jones really is,” said Brian Howell, the brother of Paul Howell after the clemency hearing in Oklahoma. “The facts are and always overwhelming pointed toward his guilt.”
Jones’s case got national attention after an ABC screened documentary named The Last Defense was aired in 2018. High profile athletes including Brooklyn Nets basketball player Blake Griffin, Atlanta Hawks’ Trae Young, Los Angeles Lakers’ player Russell Westbrook, Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, and Sacramento Kings player Buddy Hield have come out in support of Jones and penned letters to Governor Stitt.
At the time of the crime, Jones was attending the University of Oklahoma on an academic scholarship. Activists have claimed he was not adequately represented by his lawyer during his trial, and have said that “explicit racial bias” played a role in the legal process.
A Change.org petition currently has 6.5 million signatures asking the governor of Oaklahoma to stop the execution.
Jones is one of seven people facing the death penalty in Oklahoma in the next six months.
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