Julius Jones will not be executed!
After massive public pressure, Gov. Stitt commuted Julius’ death sentence. But Julius will still face life in prison without parole — it’s a horrific injustice, but it gives Julius and his team a chance to keep fighting for his freedom.
Fight for Julius Jones
Add your name to our super-petition right now and join the action team — we’ll keep you up-to-date as new developments happen in Julius’ case. signers so far.
Julius Jones is innocent. His death sentence has been commuted after intense public pressure, but he still faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Julius has an alibi for the crime he is accused of, but the jury never heard it. An eyewitness identified someone else at the crime scene. And the key witness for the prosecution took a secret deal to reduce his own prison time.
The case against Julius Jones is riddled with misconduct. An FBI agent who testified against him later admitted to lying under oath. The prosecutor hid key context from the jury. A juror who voted to convict called Julius the n-word.
The majority of Oklahomans believe Julius’ sentence should be commuted (according to a recent poll, 6 in 10 Oklahomans). His case has also garnered bipartisan support from prominent state officials, celebrities, faith leaders, and the victim’s own girlfriend, Connie Ellison.
Governor Kevin Stitt has commuted sentences for hundreds of incarcerated people with the stroke of his pen — he can again. But to make sure that happens, he needs to hear from us.
Timeline for Julius JOnes’ case
Julius is placed on “death watch” where he will stay until being executed or a stay of execution is issued. This is a deeply isolating and dehumanizing experience and a form of torture.
All of his personal property is confiscated except a Bible, family photos, and a pen and paper. He is moved to a new death watch cell with a camera and guard. Bright lights are on day and night.
The Oklahoma Board of Pardon and Parole hears Julius’ case for clemency. The conservative board has already voted 3-1 to commute his sentence from death to life with parole, but the ruling has been ignored.
Governor Stitt has indicated that even though he ignored the commutation vote, he will consider the recommendation from this hearing more valid and more influential to his final decision.
Julius was scheduled to be executed. With hours left before the execution, Governor Stitt issued an order commuting Julius’ death sentence, but Julius’ still faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.
About the case
Overwhelming evidence points to Julius’ innocence, including:
- An eyewitness identification that did not match Julius: The only eyewitness to Paul Howell’s tragic murder described the shooter as having half-an-inch of hair sticking out from underneath a stocking cap. The jury was never shown a photograph of Julius, taken just days before the shooting, showing his hair was too short to fit that description. The description of the hair sticking out perfectly fit Julius’s co-defendant, Christopher Jordan, who testified against Julius to avoid the death penalty.
- The alibi that the jury never heard: Julius’s mother, father, sister, and older brother were all adamant Julius was at home when Mr. Howell was killed. But they never testified because Julius’s lawyers – who had never handled a death penalty case before – decided not to call a single witness.
- A secret deal with the person likely responsible for the crime: The jury never knew the prosecution promised Christopher Jordan he would get out of prison in just 15 years in exchange for blaming Julius for what he, in fact, had done – something Jordan admitted to multiple disinterested witnesses who have since come forward to attest to that fact under oath.
There are grave doubts about the reliability of Julius Jones’ conviction, including:
- Junk forensic science: The State’s forensic case against Julius relied on the now discredited testimonies of FBI analyst Kathleen Lundy and Terrence Higgs, a firearms examiner for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
- Prosecutorial misconduct: Non-disclosure of the informant deals is prosecutorial misconduct and a violation of Julius’ constitutional rights.
- Racial bias: In Julius’ case, nearly every Black person eligible to serve on Julius’ jury – save one – was removed from service. At least one juror harbored racial prejudice that influenced his vote – one juror said the trial was a waste of time and “they should just take the n-word out and shoot him behind the jail.’’ Additionally, a Black defendant like Julius, accused of killing a white male victim in Oklahoma is nearly three times more likely to receive a death sentence than if his victim were a nonwhite male.
Julius Jones will NOT be executed
Thanks to the tireless work of activists and volunteers like you, after weeks of intense pressure from groups like this one, Gov. Stitt of Oklahoma just issued an executive order commuting the death sentence of Julis Jones who has been imprisoned for over 20 years for a crime he didn’t commit. This is proof that our organizing has life or death impacts.
Still, it is a heartbreaking reality that innocent people are killed by state-sanctioned violence and thousands more are unjustly imprisoned, a reality that Grassroots Law Project is working hard to stop. But we need your help to fund our campaigns to save more people from execution, and right now our biggest campaign is to free Marvin Guy.
Will you donate to Marvin’s Legal Defense Fund?