Listen to this article here
A recent poll shows a significant majority of Oklahoma residents in the conservative state support commutation for Julius Jones, who’s maintained his innocence in a 1999 murder that placed him on Oklahoma’s death row for the majority of the last 20 years.
According to the firm Amber Integrated, which conducted the poll from June 24 – June 28, 60% of Oklahomans want Governor Kevin Stitt and the Pardon and Parole Board to commute Jones’ death sentence.
Julius Jones has maintained his innocence for 20 years
The poll questioned 500 registered voters in Oklahoma and has a margin of error of 4.38 percent at a 95 percent confidence interval.
Since being arrested for the murder of Edmond Businessman Paul Howell, former University of Oklahoma student Jones, who was 19 at the time, maintains he was with family during the crime.
In recent years, high-profile documentaries have highlighted Jones’ ineffective council, which never allowed anyone from his family to testify, along with evidence of a racist juror.
Rushing to gather support for his commutation, the Julius Jones Coalition. have planned “Julius Jones Week” from August 30 through September 3rd, in an effort to convince leaders they would be killing an innocent man. Additionally, more than 6 million Americans have signed a petition calling for his commutation, including high-profile supporters like Kim Kardashian.
Surprisingly, while a majority of respondents to the poll indicated not being familiar with Jones’ case, most nevertheless recommended a sentence other than death at the very least.
According to the poll, 50 percent of Republicans, 73 percent of Democrats and 65 percent of independents support commuting Jones’ sentence to “something other than death.” Black voters support commutation, at 72 percent, while a solid majority (57 percent) of White voters also support commuting Jones’ sentence.
The poll comes after former Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter called on the Jones family to die quietly, and as Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater refuses to turn over Jones’ case file.
Commutation hearing quickly approaching
Cece Jones-Davis is a family friend, faith leader, and organizer with the Justice for Julius Campaign. She’s been pushing for DA Prater to release all evidence in the case, something he’s so far refused to do.
“Oklahomans of all political ideologies, all races and all ages don’t support killing someone who is innocent,” said Jones-Davis. “It’s as simple as that.”
The second phase of Julius Jones’ commutation hearing will take place in front of the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board on September 13 at 10 a.m.