In under two several weeks, Julius Johnson is placed to die.
Yet, earlier this year the Oklahoma Parole Board voted inside a 3-1 decision to recommend commuting Jones’ sentence to existence imprisonment with the potential of parole. Board people accepted they “have doubts” concerning the situation, based on TIME.
As time runs lower until Jones’ scheduled execution, the ultimate decision about his fate has become at the disposal of Gov. Kevin Stitt, who’ll decide whether to accept parole board’s recommendation or proceed with the execution—which was scheduled only one week following the parole board’s decision.
“It’s so harmful also it causes it to be wholly apparent how damaged our bodies is,” Rev. Cece Johnson-Davis, an innovator within the Justice for Julius movement, told Archiweekend.com. “Anytime someone could possibly get a suggestion in the parole board, that is hired to…make these types of decisions one Monday and also the court within the same condition states ‘well, because we are able to, we will go on and issue this date’ the next Monday. Whether it wasn’t so serious, it might be silly, you realize, but it’s a genuine proof of precisely how damaged the machine is and just what a desperate situation Julius Johnson is within.”
Johnson attorney, Amanda Bass, echoed an identical sentiment in comments designed to ABC News.
“We think Julius was wrongfully charged which Oklahoma is vulnerable to executing a harmless man,” she stated.
Jones’ situation has attracted the interest of community activists, National basketball association stars and celebrities including criminal justice advocate Kim Kardashian—who have recommended for justice for Johnson, citing the things they believe is racial bias, a problematic analysis and subpar defense that arrived Johnson on dying row for that 1999 slaying of the prominent Oklahoma City businessman.
The parole board has possibly altered that narrative this month after choosing to recommend a commuted sentence for Julius on Sept. 13.
“Personally, In my opinion in dying penalty cases tthere shouldn’t be doubts. And set simply, I’ve doubts relating to this situation,” Board Chairman Adam Luck stated in the hearing from the decision, based on TIME.
Antionette Johnson, Julius’ sister, stated his family was encouraged through the parole board’s decision within the situation, however they know there’s still try to be achieved.
“I’m still in shock, because it isn’t over, you realize? We have a lot ground [to] cover,” she told ABC News.
Johnson-Davis, that has no regards to Julius themself, told Archiweekend.com that Julius—now 41 years of age–remains positive concerning the parole board’s decision, even while the execution date looms.
“One factor that’s really impressive about Julius is the fact that he’s always able to keep perspective and he’s always able to keep an in-depth degree of hope,” she stated. “He is trying to be as positive because he could be. You realize he’s dreams now.”
Underneath the parole board’s recommendation, Julius could eventually launch on parole. Johnson-Davis stated he’s already planning for a existence outdoors the prison walls mentoring youthful boys. His mother is renovating his room in the family’s home.
“I believe the parole’s board decision shows it does not have a researcher or perhaps a lawyer or perhaps a judge to determine that several things went horribly wrong for Julius Johnson within the legislation,” she stated. “Individuals three board people who voted saw what we have been saying for 3 years, saw the problems for which these were, had the documentation in the prosecutor and also the defense and also at the finish of this hearing, voted 3-1 that Julius deserved a commutation.”
Julius was charged in 2002 killing of Oklahoma businessman Paul Howell inside a 1999 carjacking.
Howell, who was simply relaxing in his GMC Suburban, was shot within the mind.
His sister, Megan Tobey, observed the shooting and told police her brother was wiped out with a youthful black man putting on a stocking cap and red bandana over his face.
Julius’ co-defendant Chris Jordan, later testified against Julius in return for the condition shedding the dying penalty in the own situation.
“What Chris testified to was he and Julius lost driving around searching for any Suburban to carjack and they adopted Mr. Howell to his home which Julius got from the vehicle, went to the window to accept vehicle and shot Mr. Howell,” Julius’ attorney Dale Baich told Archiweekend.com this past year.
However, Baich stated Jordan—who claimed to become just the getaway driver—had made “six or seven different statements” to police concerning the crime and 2 inmates who stayed with Jordan in a city jail would later state that he’d bragged about transporting the killing themself.
Investigators discovered a gun and red blueberry within an upstairs room in Julius’ parents’ home however, his defense team stated Jordan have been remaining in the home the night time following the killing.
“His parents, sister, and brother state that he what food was in home your evening,” Baich stated. “They were built with a spaghetti dinner. The household only agreed to be kind of chilling out your evening.”
Regardless of the family’s insistence that Julius was together that night, Baich stated his initial defense team never known as any witnesses towards the stand throughout his trial to corroborate his alibi.
In excess of 2 decades, he’s ongoing to proclaim his innocence.
“As God is my witness, I wasn’t involved with any means by the crimes that brought to Howell being shot and wiped out,” he stated in a clemency report. “I have spent yesteryear twenty years on dying row for any crime I didn’t commit, didn’t witness and it was away from. Personally i think terrible for Mr. Howell and the family but I wasn’t responsible.”
Supporters from the former senior high school basketball player believe his situation seemed to be damaged by racial bias.
In the clemency report, Julius alleged that whenever he was taken into child custody he was “handcuffed, and pulled to some police vehicle.”
“The officials were high fiving each other and explained ‘You know you’re gonna fry,’” he authored.
While being transferred from your Oklahoma City Police vehicle for an Edmond police vehicle, Julius stated among the officials removed his handcuffs and told him “Run n—–, I dare you.’”
Julius stated he understood if he moved, he’d have likely been shot and wiped out.
Regardless of the allegations by Julius and the defense team, Jordan’s attorney, Billy Bock, stated inside a statement to ABC News that his client stands by his story he only acted like a getaway driver.
“Chris Jordan maintains his position that his role within the dying of Paul Howell was being an accomplice to Julius Johnson,” he stated. “Mr. Jordan testified truthfully within the jury trial of Mr. Johnson and denies ‘confessing’ to anybody.”
Jordan was launched from prison after serving fifteen years in jail.
His situation was the topic of a Viola Davis-created documentary on ABC in 2018 entitled “The Last Defense.”
Now, by having an execution date looking for November. 18, Julius’ supporters—including Johnson-Davis—are wishing Stitt will require the parole board’s recommendation.
“The governor needs to weigh in and he needs to weigh in soon,” she stated.
With no action, Johnson-Davis stated Julius may go on what’s known as “death watch” between mid-October.
“It’s crucial the governor go ahead and take recommendation of his board as quickly as possible since this is what we should were attempting to avoid,” she stated from the advocacy group’s efforts through the years. “Once somebody comes with an execution date, it’s just like a freight train. It’s tough to attempt to stop so we were attempting to avoid all this in order to save the existence of the innocent man.”
Howell’s family, however, has stated these were “devastated” through the parole board’s decision.
“The the fact is that 12 jurors found Julius Johnson responsible for murdering Paul Howell,” they stated inside a statement acquired by TIME, adding that courts have reviewed the conviction and upheld it during the last 18 years.