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J. Cole urges clemency for Black death row inmate facing execution

The rapper has joined the fight to save Julius Jones’ life.

J. Cole Getty Images

J. Cole has joined the fight to save Julius Jones, a Black Oklahoma death row inmate, from execution. On Wednesday (Nov. 17), Cole brought Jones’ case to his Twitter followers’ attention, retweeting a thread that Kim Kardashian previously posted about the matter.

“Read this please. Then share. Oklahoma is a day away from executing a man,” Cole wrote. “The evidence that this man is innocent is overwhelming. So much so that the state parole board recommended to the governor that he not be executed. With 1 day left of his life, the governor hasn’t acted.”

At 19 years old, Jones was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1999 murder of Paul Howell, a white insurance executive who was fatally shot outside his parents’ home in Edmond, Oklahoma.

However, according to The Innocence Project, Jones had an alibi for the time of the shooting that was never presented in court.

Furthermore, Jones did not match the description of the alleged shooter. Meanwhile, a man named Christopher Jordan, whom Jones said was an acquaintance, did match the description and admitted to being the “getaway driver” in the crime. Jordan accused Jones of being the one who pulled the trigger in exchange for a plea deal and served 15 years in prison.

Over the years, three different people incarcerated with Jordan have claimed he admitted to shooting Powell and framing Jones for the murder. The Innocence Project also noted the racial bias that was shown during the trial. Jones was referred to as the N-word by the police officer who arrested him and a member of the predominately white jury, who also suggested Jones be taken outside and shot.

Jones, now 41 years old, has always maintained his innocence. Earlier this month, the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted 3-1 to recommend commuting Jones’ death sentence to life in prison with the possibility of parole. However, Jones is still scheduled to be executed tomorrow (Nov. 18), with the final decision resting with Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt.

Along with posting about the issue, Cole said he’d be calling Gov. Stitt’s office and shared the phone number with his followers. See Cole’s tweets below and sign a petition to save Jones here.

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