Movement Continues To Save Death Row Inmate Sentenced To Death For 1999 Murder
He's spent over two decades on death row. Now momentum renews to save Julius Jones, a man sentenced to death in the 1999 killing of an Edmond man.
As the state announced it'll resume death sentences, community members are getting to work.
People descended on Tabernacle Baptist Church Friday evening in north Oklahoma City, reenergizing the movement to save a man they believe is wrongfully on death row.
“It's been a long haul,” said Jimmy Lawson, Jones’ best friend. “We’re going on 21 years now Julius is at the point where he is ready to come home.”
Jones was 19 years old when he was sentenced to death in the 1999 murder for killing Edmond businessman Paul Howell in his driveway. Howell was shot to death.
Jones is now 39 years old. The state announced in February that it will resume the death penalty.
“We've seen all around the world were people have been incarcerated all these years and all the sudden on death row and found out they did not commit the crime,” said Anthony R. Douglas, President of the Oklahoma NAACP. “It’s not just in Oklahoma, it’s all around the world.”
A-list celebrities have backed Jones' case including Kim Kardashian and Viola Davis, even a documentary is looking into it.
The support is something the Jones family is thankful for.
“It encourages you and it gives you just deeper support and strength,” said Madeline Jones, Julius’ mother. “With the documentary, it is just little pieces that is coming together that lets you know and keeps your faith strong.”
Despite what's at stake, positivity and confidence remain that the justice system will do the right thing.
“When you believe in somebody's innocence, that is all we need to have,” said Lawson. “When you believe that, you live that.”
The Pardon and Parole Board has yet to decide if it'll even hear the case.
There is no timeframe as far as when that may be.