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Mercedes Schlapp, the White House Director of Strategic Communications under Trump, called on Governor Stitt to spare Julius Jones’ life. “We are pleading, praying for the Governor of Oklahoma to make the right decision,” Schlapp said.
“I think it’s really important to be able to bring in the people who know Julius and can talk about what he’s going through,” she said.
Stitt, it should be noted, has met with the Howell family, but refuses to meet with the Jones family.
Schlapp interviewed Minister Keith Jossell, who has been Julius’s spiritual advisor since Julius was 19.
Jossell called the murder of Paul Howell “senseless” and “a tragedy”, but noted that Julius “was not there” when the murder happened. “He was actually at home with his family,” Jossell said. “They were getting ready to celebrate his birthday.”
Jossell went on to note Chris Jordan, Julius’s co-defendant, confessed to the murder to four different people. Jordan was since released after making a plea deal with state prosecutors.
Keith Jossell said he hopes people will, one day, get to meet Julius Darius Jones in person. “He is a genius,” Jossell said, “he is a poet, he is an artist, he is a designer. He can talk about God and the mercy of God in a post-doctoral level of thought.”
Jones, he said, is already mentoring young people from prison. “He has committed the rest of his life, whatever amount of time that is, to make a difference in young peoples’ lives, so that they can fulfill the possibilities and purpose that God has for them.”
Republicans and Democrats in Oklahoma and across the nation urge Stitt to commute Jones’s sentence
Speaking on CPAC Now on behalf of the American Conservative Union, Schlapp urged viewers to send a letter to Stitt as she discussed the case.
“We stand with you,” Schlapp said to Jossell, “to be a voice for those who do not have a voice – like Julius Jones. We stand by him and plead with the Governor to really re-examine the evidence and not move forward with this execution.”
Mercedes Schlapp’s husband, Matt Schlapp, a former Bush White House official, has also been advocating for Justice for Julius.
The interview and the call for mercy comes as liberals and conservatives alike urge Governor Stitt to commute Julius’s sentence.
Several Republicans in the Oklahoma legislature, including Representatives Logan Phillips, John Talley, Kevin McDugle and others, have all publicly called for the governor to grant Julius Jones clemency.
Governor Stitt, however, has yet to make any announcement about his decision. Earlier in the week, a source told The BWSTimes that Attorney General O’Connor has been urging the Governor to execute Julius.
With only days left until Julius’s execution date, the state and the nation are watching, waiting and praying.
Schlapp, who worked on criminal justice reform in the Trump White House, spoke about the need for change.
“You read testimonies of individuals who have been sentenced to what I would say are wrong sentences or too long of a sentence,” she said. “We really had to make significant changes in our justice system.”
“Every human being matters,” Schlapp continued. “We believe in the concept of redemption.”
“As Republicans and conservatives, public safety is critical,” she said. “But, you got to make sure the criminal justice system actually works. It should be just and fair, and this is obviously not the case for Julius Jones.”