Oklahomans Pushing For Clemency Hearing In High Profile Conviction


Wednesday, October 16th 2019, 7:52 pm
By: Karl Torp


Julius Jones was convicted in the shooting death of Paul Howell in Edmond in 1999.

His conviction and failed appeals were the subject of TV documentary “The Last Defense” produced by actress Viola Davis last year.

This week a petition for clemency was filed. It is Jones’ last attempt to have his life spared.

Jones was 19 at the time of the murder and was not allowed to take the stand in his trial to defend himself.

In letters to the governor, supporters said Jones’ case was marred with racism, ineffective public defense, and snitch testimony.

“We are not asking for clemency; we are asking for a clemency hearing. We are asking for another look,” said Susan Esco with Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform.

Esco wrote her letter along with Kris Steel, the Executive Director of the Education and Employment Ministry.

Oklahoma County Commissioner Carrie Blumert also wrote a letter asking the governor to commute Jones' death penalty sentence saying there is "reasonable doubt."

The murder weapon in Jones’ case was found wrapped in a red bandana in Jones' parents’ home.

A witness claimed the gunman wore a red bandana.

Last year, DNA results linked Jones to the bandana discovered.

“When we are provided with something that is inconsistent with a trial decision, we take that very seriously. This is not one of those cases,” said Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter in 2018 when DNA results were released.

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