Listen to this article here

A recent survey of Oklahoma residents has shown that a majority support clemency for Julius Jones, and believe that his life should be spared. 55% of those surveyed agreed with Governor Stitt’s decision to stop Mr. Jones’ November execution. 

Meanwhile, 26% of those who responded believed that Mr. Jones should have been executed in November, with 19% undecided or refusing to answer. However, the survey didn’t ask how Oklahomans felt about granting parole to Jones, a man who has been in prison for over 20 years for a crime he did not commit. 

Other topics in the survey included the Covid19 pandemic and how President Biden is handling the challenges facing the country. In Oklahoma, only 28% approve of the president, with over ? of those surveyed expressing disapproval of his job performance. 

Rev. Cece Jones-Davis, leader of the Justice for Julius Campaign, speaks to reporters after Governor Kevin Stitt grants partial clemency to Julius Jones on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2021. (Chris Creese / The Black Wall Street Times)

Poll reveals political divides

The survey found many disparities across political lines. While Democrats listed their top three concerns for the state as Covid19, the local economy, and education, GOP subscribers listed the economy, “law and order,” and then education.

In a matchup between current Governor Kevin Stitt (R) and Oklahoma education superintendent Joy Hofmeister (D), the incumbent leads the way at 47% to 32%, although over 20% are undecided at this point. Excluded from the poll was any info regarding Democratic candidate for governor Connie Johnson, the only Black person currently running. The election will take place next year, following a June 2022 primary. 

Finally, the survey asked respondents if Oklahoma is on the right track to success, or has fallen behind. Approximately half the respondents noted Oklahoma is on the right track, although 40% disagreed and believe Oklahoma is not moving forward appropriately.

To see the full results of the survey, which was conducted by Amber Integrated, click here

clemency oklahoma legislative black caucus clemency
Julius Jones (right) addresses the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board for the first time in 22 years at his clemency hearing on November 1, 2021. The Board voted 3-1 to recommend the governor provide clemency and commute his sentence to life with the possibility of parole. (News on 6 Screenshot)

Erika Stone is a graduate student in the Master of Social Work program at the University of Oklahoma, and a graduate assistant at Schusterman Library. A Chess Memorial Scholar, she has a B.A. in Psychology...