March For Death Row Inmate Julius Jones Ends At State Prison In McAlester

Sunday, January 3rd 2021, 9:51 pm

McALESTER, Okla. -

More than 100 people joined in the final stretch of a march from Oklahoma City to McAlester calling for justice for death row inmate Julius Jones.

The activists marched to the state prison in hopes of clearing Jones' name. 

Organizer Jabee Williams said they walked 131 miles for Jones but will never know what it's like to walk in his footsteps. 

“Look at the facts, look at the record and look at the community,” a marcher said. “This man is innocent.”

Williams, Irv Roland, Jess Eddy, Francie Ekwerekwu and Cody Bass spent four days of walking through mud and snow to McAlester. They are calling on the courts to grant clemency to Jones, who sits on death row for the shooting death of an Edmond man that Jones said he didn't commit. 

"Julius Jones' name needs to be cleared and become the 139th inmate exonerated,” another marcher said. 

Jones spoke to the crowd via phone call. He said he is eternally grateful for their selfless support. 

“I know it's been a long journey man, but I ask y'all to keep on keeping on, like I keep on keeping on for y'all,” Jones said. 

Williams said he may not see the impact in his lifetime but knows this walk and Jones' story are writing history. He hopes they're helping rewrite a wrong. 

"Being together made it easy, you know,” Williams said. “Our legs are tired, but our spirits are excited." 

Roland grew up playing basketball with Jones. He told News On 6 his friend has sat in 23-hour lockdown for several years, but it's not over until Jones comes home. 

"The God I serve didn't give us the right to decide who lives or dies,” Roland said. “We're not going to give up just because we didn't get the answer that we want." 

Roland said the walk wasn’t easy but thinking of his friend put things in perspective. 

"Every time that we were really struggling, we got a phone call from somebody, usually Julius,” Roland said. “Just hearing the optimism and the energy behind that phone, it’s just like, ‘What are we talking about? What are we complaining about?’ At the end of this, we can go home." 

Jones' mother, Madeline Davis-Jones, said she looks forward to the day when she can hold her son in her arms again. 

"Justice shineth in the darkness and it shineth in the light,” Madeline Davis-Jones said.

Advocates for Jones said justice delayed doesn't have to mean justice denied.