Numerous celebrities were accused of crimes they have never committed and some of them are still expecting a verdict. One such case is about Julius Jones, a former American football player. Being held in solitary confinement for almost 20 years, he was proven to be innocent just a moment before his execution (Rizzo). All this happened when he was a 19-year-old student charged with murder, which he claimed he did not commit. In addition, his family, friends, and attorneys supported him all the way claiming his innocence. However, the victim’s relatives continue to insist on Jones’ guilt (ABC News). At that time, he had a promising future at the University of Oklahoma; however, once he was accused of killing Paul Howell while robbing his car.
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Jones has always maintained his innocence, but the recent push by community activists, celebrities, and NBA stars to review the case has drawn attention to Jones’ conviction. Supporters of the Oklahoma man point to what they believe was racial bias, a flawed investigation, and a grossly inadequate defense as they advocate for justice for Jones, who has already exhausted his appeals. The case has lasted for almost twenty years and has remained without a final statement to this day.
On November 18, 2021, Jones received his verdict because the judges decided to review the case details and evidence from all sources. Initially, the state’s Pardon and Parole Board expressed their recommendations stating to commute the death penalty with a life sentence with a possibility of parole. However, the Board was not authorized to comment on Jones’ incarceration. As a result of the 11-hour trial, the Governor of Oklahoma granted clemency to the accused (Amir and Andone). In response, Jones’ lawyer said that the governor’s decision was a decisive step toward the rebuilding of the U.S. criminal justice system.
“Julius Jones Granted Clemency Hours Before His Scheduled Execution.” YouTube, uploaded by ABC News. 2021. Web.
Amir, Vera, and Dakin Andone. “Oklahoma Governor Grants Clemency to Julius Jones, Halting His Execution.” CNN. 2021. Web.
Rizzo, Patrizia. “Who is Julius Jones and What Did He Do?” The Sun. 2021. Web.