Advocate group to walk 131 miles in support of Julius Jones
Mike Seals - December 30, 2020 10:24 pm
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A group of advocates will be taking a 131-mile walk on New Year’s to bring awareness to an Oklahoma death row inmate.
The group of five men are walking in support of Julius Jones, a Black man convicted of first-degree murder in the 1999 shooting death of a 45-year-old white man, who argues he is innocent and was never even at the crime scene, according to the McAlester News-Capital.
More than 6 million people have signed a Change.org petition demanding justice for Jones. His case has drawn the attention of celebrities Kim Kardashian West and Baker Mayfield, as well as athletes with Oklahoma ties, including NBA stars Russell Westbrook, Blake Griffin and Trae Young, who have called for the Oklahoma State Pardon and Parole Board and Gov. Kevin Stitt to commute Jones’ death sentence.
Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter said during a July news conference that misinformation from celebrities would not change Jones’ guilt and released transcripts from the trial.
Jabee Williams, an organizer of the walk, said he and the other four men will host a sendoff rally at 5 a.m. Thursday at the Oklahoma State Capitol before making their way to Shawnee where they will stop for the night before hosting another rally Friday morning.
They expect to reach McAlester on Sunday.
“We aren’t doing this for any other reason other than the reason we feel it’s what’s right,” Williams said. “We’re walking because we believe in trying to save someone’s life.”
Along with raising money through the sale of T-shirts, the group has received donations of shoes, coats, snacks, and other items that will be needed on their four-day trek across eastern Oklahoma.