Kim Kardashian West urges clemency for death row inmate
Julius Jones was convicted of murder for the 1999 killing of 45-year-old Paul Howell.
Kim Kardashian West has joined a chorus of voices calling for clemency for a black man on Oklahoma’s death row who has exhausted his appeals.
Julius Jones was convicted of murder for the 1999 killing of 45-year-old Paul Howell, who was fatally shot in the driveway of his parents’ home in Edmond, Oklahoma.
But Kardashian West is among those arguing that a racist juror tainted the outcome of Jones’ 2002 trial.
Jones filed a clemency petition with the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board on Tuesday, asking that his death sentence be commuted to time served.
Kardashian West tweeted to her 62 million followers on Wednesday to urge the board and Oklahoma governor Kevin Stitt to consider Jones’ clemency petition.
Jones filed an appeal with the US Supreme Court arguing that a juror was racist towards him during his trials. The claim came to light when a juror told Jones’ lawyers in 2017 that another juror used a racist term to describe Jones and said authorities should “shoot (Jones) behind the jail”.
The high court rejected that appeal in April.
I noticed lots of people are asking what they can do to help in the Julius Jones case. You can send letters to the Pardon & Parole Board, and the Governor.— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) October 16, 2019
Kardashian West has been an outspoken criminal justice reform advocate. Last year, Kardashian West successfully lobbied US President Donald Trump to grant clemency to Alice Marie Johnson, a grandmother who was serving a life sentence without parole for drug offences.
In June, she visited the White House to help Mr Trump promote a ride-sharing partnership expected to give former prisoners gift cards to help them get to and from job interviews, work and family events.
Kardashian West’s support of Jones comes after years of rejected appeals in his case.
In January, the US Supreme Court handed Jones another rejection after he argued that people of colour are more likely to be sentenced to death in Oklahoma when the victim is white, which Howell was. Last year, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals also rejected Jones’ appeal that argued that.