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UPDATE (10:37 am CT): The Pardon and Parole Board votes yes 3 to 1 to move Julius Jones to stage two of the commutation process. receive

Julius Jones has been on death row for 22-years for a crime where all compelling evidence points in the opposite direction. Today the Oklahoma office of Pardon and Parole Board votes whether to free Jones or allow the state to move forward with his death sentence by lethal injection. 

Many have compared Jones’s case to that of Walter McMillian. McMillian was represented by young, gifted attorney Bryan Stevenson. Their collective story inspired the motion picture film “Just Mercy.”

Jones continues to receive widespread support on every level: Antoinette Jones, Julius Jones’s sister, is one of the fiercest. She leads the Justice for Julius Jones Campaign with family friend and activist, minister CeeCee Jones Davis.

Jones-Davis spoke told The Black Wall Street Times, “I could not be more grateful to see this day finally come for Julius Jones and his family. They have waited a very long time and suffered greatly in the process. Matters of Justice are not meant to be in the hands of a few. It’s the responsibility and charge of all of us. I am so proud of the millions of people around the country who understand that and have brought Julius’ story to this place, for this time.”

Jones also receives support from Bryan Stevenson, Kim Kardashian and Viola Davis, and a deep list of other celebrities and activists — all who believe Jones is innocent.

6,287,330 supporters have signed a petition calling for his release.

According to the American Bar Association, “Few states provide enough funding for capital defense counsel, and most death penalty states don’t require lawyers to meet the minimum training and experience guidelines set by the American Bar Association.”

Such as in the case of Jones. At the time of the trial, Jones’ appointed attorney had never tried a capital trial. 

Today Dale Baich and Amanda Bass represent Jones.

Data show African Americans make up 42% up of people on death row and 34% of those executed while only representing 13% of the U.S. population demographically. Statistics also show that 75% of executions for murder were in cases with White victims.  

Since the 1999 murder trial of Paul Howell, Jones has maintained his innocence and has received widespread support. 

Witnesses place Jones at his parents’ home at the time of Howell’s murder, miles away from the crime scene. The witness of Howell’s murderer’s description matched that of Christopher Jordan who Jones’ considered a friend at the time. 

Despite compelling evidence, Attorney General Mike Hunter has fiercely advocated against a pardon for Jones. 

Listen to the voice of Julius Jones through local community leaders and activists below: 

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The Black Wall Street Times is a news publication located in Tulsa, Okla. and Atlanta, Ga. At The BWSTimes, we focus on elevating the stories of our beloved Greenwood community, elevating the stories of...