This letter is by Christopher Johnston, a military veteran and human rights activist in Oklahoma County.
This March is an important month for this state and this nation for we have an opportunity to send an innocent man back home to his family.
The innocent man I am talking about is Mr. Julius Jones and he could have his sentence commuted this March. He is a man who has been caught within a web of hypocrisy and racism that has kept him confined to prison for 21 years.
We have the opportunity to change a very cruel course of events that has befallen this man and his beloved family. His mother who I and many other people call Momma Jones is the kindest, most gentle, and the strongest person you will ever meet. She is the shining example of grace, humility, and enduring strength.
I have not personally met Mr. Jones other family members but one could assume that they too are amazing people with immense strength. They should not have to wait any longer. His family deserves that chance to see their son, brother, or friend again.
The optics of this case appear to be very clear. Whether you are a legal scholar, clergy, or the common folk, if you look at the evidence with an unbiased lens you will see the lack of a fair trial from the first second and during this whole course of events.
It is plain to see that Mr. Jones is innocent.
Parole Board and Governor Stitt, please take a look at all of the evidence, the 6.2 million people who signed the petition for his freedom, legal scholars, etc.
Please send this man home.
Mr. Stitt, you campaigned and have done good things in terms of addressing prison reform and bringing up this discussion of change to other political leaders. Then, please look deep within your heart and set this man free. He deserves another chance at life. His family deserves that chance. We can make history in our state like the pioneers of the past in what we, as Oklahomans, claim to be.
Let’s be pioneers in terms of changing our criminal justice system. And let’s take a big step in that change and send Mr. Jones home. This could be that start of becoming as our preamble of our constitution says “In order to form a more perfect union”.
We can get a little closer to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s dream of justice, equality, and equity.
William Shakespeare wrote about the undiscovered country in Hamlet. And in that masterpiece what I think he meant by “the undiscovered country” is a place that may be unknown within society and our hearts. A terrifying place to some if they are not open to change or new factual information. We have an imperfect criminal justice system that is being challenged by the people of this state and our beloved country. Imperfect in that we can make it so much better.
That “undiscovered country” is a criminal justice system that is not plagued by hypocrisy and prejudice but one that should be fair and rehabilitative. It is nowhere close to fair and utterly inhumane in many instances but we as Oklahomans can make the first strides to making it fairer and humane.
And that starts with commuting Julius Jones’s sentence so that he can go home to his loving and immensely strong family.
The marathon for justice is just that: a marathon. But, we have to make the first step to run that marathon and complete it. Oklahoma is a special place with special people and those people include Mr. Julius Jones, Mr. Jones’s family and friends, and all the activists that are here fighting for him. All that have fought endlessly for Mr. Jones are the best of what our state is about. The Oklahoma Standard.
I hope you all can see that and determine with the amount of credible evidence showing that he is innocent and should be sent home to his family and the community that is praying for him or have him within their thoughts. It just does not make sense to have a human being who is innocent stay in prison, like he is guilty.
Please search within the deepest parts of your hearts and ask yourselves these questions: What if Julius Jones was my son?
And he was wrongfully convicted?
And he was given an unfair trial?
Would you be content with those who can set him free letting your son stay in prison?
These should be easy for anyone who has children. I am a father and I would fight to the ends of the earth, through the deepest parts of hell, and beyond for my child. And Mr. Jones’s family has done just that. And I would hope to assume anyone reading this letter would too. Please commute this man and send him home to his patient family. Thank you for reading this.
Spokesman for The Oklahoma Coalition Against People Abuse
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Last Updated February 28, 2021, 5:52 PM by Brett Dickerson – Editor