‘We’re Trying To Save Somebody’s Life’: Request For Julius Jones’ Commutation To Be Reviewed In March

Wednesday, February 24th 2021, 6:14 pm

Julius Jones still has a chance at freedom. He was sentenced to death in the 1999 killing of an Edmond man.

Now Jones' commutation request is on the Pardon and Parole Board's March docket.

"We are so really grateful that this moment has come for Julius and his family," said Founder of the Justice for Julius Coalition Rev. Cece Jones-Davis.

She told News 9 she and others have committed every day to try and free Jones. They fully realize this situation is life or death.

"There are a few people that can make a very important decision about this man. He doesn't have any other option," said Jones-Davis.

This all comes down to the Pardon and Parole Board here in Oklahoma. Jones' commutation request is really a two-stage process.

The first stage will take place with an overview of the case by the board. The board's director told News 9 he's anticipating that will happen on March 8, their first meeting day.

"They will decide if they want to hear more about it and that would move it to stage two," said Jones-Davis.

The board's director said stage two would be a more detailed hearing. At this point the board can recommend either deny the request or suggest a commuted sentence. Their suggestions would then be sent to the governor's desk for approval.

Jones' team hopes to reach the more detailed second stage. Possibly giving the board an opportunity to consider important information Jones' team believes wasn't taken into account in past appeals.

"We're trying to save somebody's life," said rapper and local activist Jabee Williams.

He's been working hard to free Jones, even walking with a small group from OKC to McAlester all to raise awareness.

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

Williams said he's feeling hopeful. He imagines one day he and Jones simply having a meal and working with their community as a team.

A lawyer speaking for the board told News 9 this process for a death row inmate is a first for the state.

If Jones' commutation request is denied, his legal team could still apply for clemency.

With just days until the pardon and parole board come face to face with Jones' case, his team is inviting people to a faith-based rally Thursday.

It will start at the Wesley United Methodist Church, near Northwest 25th and Classen, at noon. Then the group will head to the pardon and parole board.

There they plan to deliver their petition for Jones that has over six million signatures.

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