Baker Mayfield says he hopes ‘God’ can save Julius Jones who is scheduled to be executed TODAY

Baker Mayfield says he hopes God can save Julius Jones


Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield became the latest celebrity to weigh in on the fate of Oklahoma death-row inmate Julius Jones as police set up barriers around the governor’s mansion ahead of today’s execution.    

Jones, 41, is set to be put to death by lethal injection at 4pm Thursday for a 1999 murder he says he did not commit, unless Governor Kevin Stitt, a Republican, makes an 11th-hour decision to spare his life.

Mayfield, a Heisman Trophy winner from the University of Oklahoma, joined Jones’s family and urged Stitt to commute the man’s sentence and spare his life. 

We are 24 hours away. So, it’s tough, Mayfield said as he whipped away tears from his eyes. ‘You know, hopefully, God can intervene, and handle it correctly and do the things he needs to do.’ 

Last season, Mayfield had displayed Jones’s name on the back of his helmet in solidarity for the inmate.  

A chocked up Baker Mayfield, quarterback for the  Cleveland Browns, joined other celebrities in calling for Gov. Kevin Stitt to spare death-row inmate Julius Jones

A chocked up Baker Mayfield, quarterback for the  Cleveland Browns, joined other celebrities in calling for Gov. Kevin Stitt to spare death-row inmate Julius Jones

Mayfield, a Heisman Trophy winner from the University of Oklahoma, prayed for God to save Jones as his execution is scheduled for today

Mayfield, a Heisman Trophy winner from the University of Oklahoma, prayed for God to save Jones as his execution is scheduled for today

Jones mother, Madeline Davis-Jones spoke surrounded by friends and family members on Wednesday night about her son's fate, who they maintain his innocent of a 1999 murder

Jones mother, Madeline Davis-Jones spoke surrounded by friends and family members on Wednesday night about her son’s fate, who they maintain his innocent of a 1999 murder

Julius Jones (pictured) was convicted of first-degree murder in 2002 of killing Edmond businessman Paul Howell, 45, during a 1999 carjacking in the Oklahoma City suburb of Edmond

Paul Howell was killed in the driveway of his parents’ home in Edmond

Julius Jones (pictured) was convicted of first-degree murder in 2002 of killing Edmond businessman Paul Howell, 45, during a 1999 carjacking in the Oklahoma City suburb of Edmond

Jones was convicted in 2002 of the 1999 murder of businessman Paul Howell, 45, in a carjacking. He has consistently said he is innocent and was framed. His case became a cause celebre after it was profiled in a documentary by actress Viola Davis in 2008 and he has since garnered the support of numerous celebrities and sports stars. 

Governor Stitt has refused to meet with Jones’ mother and sister in recent days, and has given no indication of how or when he will decide on the clemency request. 

He has, however, met with Jones’s attorneys and Howell’s family.  

The state’s Pardon and Parole Board voted 3-1 on November 1 to recommend Stitt grant clemency to Jones and commute his sentence to life in prison, but so far the governor has not been swayed. 

On Tuesday, Oklahoma City police officers were filmed placing water-filled orange and white barriers around the Governor’s Mansion on NE 23rd Street. Oklahoma City Police said in a tweet they were asked by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol to erect the barriers ‘to provide a safe place for those who show up for peaceful gatherings.’ 

Madeline Davis-Jones, Jones’s mother, told reporters and protestors on Wednesday night that she did not ‘want to go to a lynching,’ as she refuses to attend her son’s scheduled execution. 

Water-filled barricades are pictured around Governor's Mansion in Oklahoma City on Tuesday ahead of the planned execution of Julius Jones

Water-filled barricades are pictured around Governor’s Mansion in Oklahoma City on Tuesday ahead of the planned execution of Julius Jones 

Madeline Davis-Jones said she would not attend her son's execution on Thursday

Madeline Davis-Jones said she would not attend her son’s execution on Thursday

Death row inmate claims he was framed: prosecutors say evidence overwhelming 

Jones, 41, is scheduled to be put to death on Thursday for the 1999 shooting death of Edmond businessman Paul Howell during a carjacking

Jones, 41, is scheduled to be put to death on Thursday for the 1999 shooting death of Edmond businessman Paul Howell during a carjacking

Julius Jones was 19 when he was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to die in the 1999 shooting death of 45-year-old Paul Howell in the Oklahoma City suburb of Edmond.

In the 2002 trial, prosecutors said that he and friend Christopher Jordan followed Howell around in an attempt to rob him of his 1997 GMC Suburban.

Howell’s sister Megan Tobey said she had gone out with Paul and his two daughters to buy school supplies and stop for ice cream the night of the murder.

Rachel Howell, who was nine at the time of the killing, said she remembers waving at Jones when they returned and had pulled into the driveway. He approached the driver’s side of the SUV and shot her dad in the head without speaking.

Tobey testified at the trial as the only adult witness, identifying Jones.

She got a letter from Jones in 2014 urging her to change her testimony to implicate his partner, Jordan, complete with pictures of the pair but she said the photos reinforced her confidence in her testimony.   

Jones testified that he was at home with his parents and siblings on the evening when Howell was killed, but prosecutors said Jones himself previously told his trial lawyers that wasn’t true. 

Investigators also found the murder weapon and a bandanna with Jones’ DNA in an attic space above his bedroom. Jones said in his commutation filing that the gun and bandanna were planted there. Jones’ attorney, Amanda Bass, said his criminal trial was corrupted by the use of junk forensic science, jailhouse informants and a plea deal for the co-defendant who testified against him. 

Jones was convicted of first-degree murder in 2002 of killing Edmond businessman Paul Howell, 45, during a 1999 carjacking in the Oklahoma City suburb of Edmond. 

During Jones’ trial in 2002, prosecutors said that he and Christopher Jordan followed Howell around in an attempt to rob him of his 1997 GMC Suburban. 

Howell’s sister Megan Tobey said she had gone out with Paul and his two daughters to buy school supplies and stop for ice cream the night of the murder, according to a September interview with KFOR – the first sit-down interview the family has ever given.

Rachel Howell, who was nine at the time of the killing, said she remembers waving at Jones as he approached the driver’s side of the SUV and shot her dad in the head without saying a word.

‘When we pulled up in the driveway and stopped, I looked over and saw Julius Jones walking up to the car,’ Rachel Howell said.

However, Jones claims he was framed by the actual killer, Jordan, a high school friend and co-defendant who testified against Jones and was released from prison after 15 years. 

More than 6.4 million people have signed a petition on Change.org asking Stitt to reconsider, and the GOP governor’s Democratic challenger, Joy Hoffmeister, said in his place, she would grant clemency. 

Protesters have flocked to the mansion for weeks to demand Jones who has maintained his innocence – blaming Jordan – over the last two decades, be spared. 

The case received national attention after Viola Davis produced a 2018 documentary called The Last Defense, which was broadcast in 2018 on ABC. On Wednesday, Davis posted a plea on her Instagram page, asking Stitt to save Jones. 

Rallies in support of Jones were expected Wednesday in major U.S. cities, including Oklahoma City, New York, Washington and Los Angeles. 

Kardashian, who has emerged as a criminal justice reform advocate in recent years, repeatedly has called on Stitt to spare Jones’ life and has stayed in touch with the death row inmate’s family.

Jones’ sister, Antoinette Jones, told TMZ that Kardashian used her fame and massive online following to shine a spotlight on her brother’s case. 

‘She’s always been available to help and she’s mobilized so many people to come out and post on their social media,’ Antoinette told the outlet. ‘She’s a real one… she truly does care.’ 

Celebrities like Davis, Mandy Patinkin and NBA stars Russell Westbrook, Blake Griffin and Trae Young, all expressed support for the Justice for Julius movement. 

Spiritual leaders from around the US have rallied to the cause, and several of them on Tuesday accompanied Antoinette Jones as she sought in vain to meet with Stitt.

Julius' sister, Antoinette (2nd from Right) is seen at the Governor's Mansion on Tuesday. The inmate's family and supporters tried in vain to meet with Oklahoma Gov Kevin Stitt

Julius’ sister, Antoinette (2nd from Right) is seen at the Governor’s Mansion on Tuesday. The inmate’s family and supporters tried in vain to meet with Oklahoma Gov Kevin Stitt 

Kim Kardashian has urged Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt spare the life of inmate Julius Jones who is due to be executed in three days after the governor refused to see his mother

Kim Kardashian has urged Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt spare the life of inmate Julius Jones who is due to be executed in three days after the governor refused to see his mother

Celebrities pleading for clemency for death row inmate Julius Jones

Kim Kardashian: reality star and criminal justice reform advocate, repeatedly called on Gov. Stitt to spare Jones’ life, is in touch with Jones’ family, used social media to mobilize movement supporting Jones 

Viola Davis:  actress, produced 2018 documentary on Jones case called The Last Defense, which was broadcast in 2018 on ABC

Mandy Patinkin: actor, urged social media followers to contact governor and ask that he follow the Parole Board’s recommendation 

Russell Westbrook, Blake Griffin and Trae Young: NBA stars, urged officials to commute the sentence in lieu of execution. 

The Rev. Marvin L. Morgan, of Charlottesville, Virginia, submitted a letter to the governor’s staff asking to be executed in place of Jones if the inmate is denied clemency, reported The Oklahoman.  

‘I am here in Oklahoma today because I’ve made an offer to Gov. Stitt that if another Black man is going to be killed under the guise of capital punishment, that it could be any Black man,’ Rev Morgan said. ‘So I would like the governor to allow me to lie on that table and to die in place of Julius Jones.’ 

The governor has met with the Howell family who maintains that Jones is the man responsible for the murder. 

‘We feel confident Governor Stitt sees past Jones propaganda and sees who Julius Jones really is,’ said Paul Howell’s brother Brian after Jones’ clemency hearing. ‘The facts are and always overwhelming pointed toward his guilt.’

Jones’ mother, Madeline Davis-Jones, alongside other supporters, visited the state Capitol Monday hoping to meet the governor and plead for clemency.

But Stitt’s Chief of Communications Charlie Hannema said the governor wasn’t able to meet and requested Davis-Jones, who had a handwritten letter for Stitt, fill out a form for visitors.

Hannema told the family: ‘We’ve received your letter, the governor is going to take [the letter] into consideration. We got a process, not gonna be meeting.’

A person with the Jones family then asked: ‘Are you saying that he’s refusing to meet?’

The spokesperson then left and closed the door.   

Attorneys for Jones, however, have said they met with Stitt last week. 

Madeline Davis-Jones (centre), mother of death row inmate Julius Jones, fills out a request for a meeting with Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt with the help of Rep. Jason Lowe, left, at the Oklahoma Capitol in Oklahoma City on Monday

Madeline Davis-Jones (centre), mother of death row inmate Julius Jones, fills out a request for a meeting with Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt with the help of Rep. Jason Lowe, left, at the Oklahoma Capitol in Oklahoma City on Monday

‘The governor takes his role in this process seriously and is carefully considering the Pardon and Parole Board’s recommendation as he does in all cases,’ Hannema said in an earlier statement.

Following the governor’s refusal to meet with the family, Kardashian tweeted: ‘This is the cold machinery of the Death penalty. 

‘An innocent man could be put be put to death. My heart breaks for Julius and so many others who have suffered such tragic miscarriage of justice.

‘We are all anxiously awaiting a decision from Governor Stitt. He can choose to accept the recommendation for a second time from the Parole Board to grant Julius clemency/life with the possibility of parole or have him executed Thursday the 18th. 

‘Julius, his family and everyone on his team are still hopeful Stitt will do the right thing.’ 

Stitt's Chief of Communications Charlie Hannema said the governor wasn't able to meet Jones' mother (right) and requested Davis-Jones, who had written a hand-written letter to Stitt, fill out a form for visitors

Stitt’s Chief of Communications Charlie Hannema said the governor wasn’t able to meet Jones’ mother (right) and requested Davis-Jones, who had written a hand-written letter to Stitt, fill out a form for visitors

Hannema, with his hands in his pockets, told the family: 'We've received your letter, the governor is going to take [the letter] into consideration. We got a process, not gonna be meeting.' A person with the Jones family then asked: 'Are you saying that he's refusing to meet?' The spokesperson then left and closed the door

Hannema, with his hands in his pockets, told the family: ‘We’ve received your letter, the governor is going to take [the letter] into consideration. We got a process, not gonna be meeting.’ A person with the Jones family then asked: ‘Are you saying that he’s refusing to meet?’ The spokesperson then left and closed the door

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Jones’ mother, who has now received an invite to her son’s execution, said that she and her family will keep praying after Stitt refused to meet them. 

Davis-Jones told KOCO News: ‘God brought my beautiful, wonderful son here and it’s his responsibility to take my son. And I’m believing in God and trusting in God.’ 

A family friend of Jones, Jimmy Lawson, said they are disappointed they didn’t get to meet with Stitt – but said they will come up with a Plan B. 

Lawson told Oklahoma News 4: ‘I think Mama Jones wanted an opportunity to let the governor know that her son is innocent and provide some details that he had never heard before.   

‘We’ll take this opportunity to reconvene with our team and then we’ll come up with our Plan B.’ 

State and county prosecutors have said the evidence against Jones is overwhelming. 

Trial transcripts show witnesses identified Jones as the shooter and placed him with Howell’s stolen vehicle. Investigators also found the murder weapon and a bandana with Jones’ DNA in an attic space above his bedroom. 

Jones claims the murder weapon was placed there by the actual killer, who visited Jones’ house after Howell was shot.

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Kardashian, who has been an outspoken advocate of criminal justice reform in recent years, said they are all ‘anxiously waiting’ for a decision from Governor Stitt (pictured)

From left to right, Quinita Jones (no relation), Rep. Jason Lowe, Madeline Davis-Jones, mother of death row inmate Julius Jones, and Dionne and Rev. Marcus Carruthers wait on a bench outside of Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt's office, hoping for a meeting with him, at the Oklahoma Capitol in Oklahoma City, on Monday

From left to right, Quinita Jones (no relation), Rep. Jason Lowe, Madeline Davis-Jones, mother of death row inmate Julius Jones, and Dionne and Rev. Marcus Carruthers wait on a bench outside of Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt’s office, hoping for a meeting with him, at the Oklahoma Capitol in Oklahoma City, on Monday

Kardashian detailed what Jones is facing ahead of his slated execution on Thursday. 

‘I want to share with you what the process of the execution is like in Oklahoma,’ Kardashian wrote. ‘#JuliusJones has been on death watch for more than 2 weeks. In preparation for his execution on Nov. 18, he is alone in his prison cell just feet away from the executioner’s chamber.’

Kardashian noted how Jones ‘has been strip searched, x-rayed, and issued a new set of clothes, shoes, mattress & bedding,’ and ‘is being closely monitored by staff,’ as ‘every meal he has and every liquid he consumes is logged.’

Kardashian said that Jones has ‘designated who will receive his remains’ and his ‘personal property’ following his execution, adding that his ‘organs are not eligible for donation’ under state law.

Kardashian said that officials in Oklahoma are ‘so bent on vengeance that they will make every effort to ensure they get to kill Julius – including reviving him if he happens to go into cardiac arrest prior to the execution.’

She noted that at 9 p.m. ‘the day before his execution,’ Jones’ ‘phone privileges will be terminated and he will receive his last meal.

‘He will be checked on every 15 minutes for the last four hours of his life. Then, he will be put to death.’ 

Madeline Davis-Jones (right), mother of death row inmate Julius Jones, makes her way to Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt's office on Monday

Madeline Davis-Jones (right), mother of death row inmate Julius Jones, makes her way to Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt’s office on Monday

Homeland star Mandy Patinkin also has taken to social media, urging followers to contact the governor’s office and ask that he follow the Parole Board’s recommendation to grant Jones clemency.   

In addition to Kardashian, notable NBA players such as Russell Westbrook, Trae Young and Blake Griffin have urged officials to commute the sentence in lieu of execution.

Oklahoma ended a six-year moratorium on executions – brought on by concerns over its methods – last month. John Marion Grant, 60, convulsed and vomited as he was being put to death October 28.

It’s not clear yet why Grant vomited, but medical experts agreed that the dosage of the sedative midazolam that Oklahoma and other states use in their execution protocols is massive compared with what’s standard in surgeries.

Grant was the first person in Oklahoma to be executed since a series of flawed lethal injections in 2014 and 2015.

Kardashian previously worked with federal authorities on the release of Alice Marie Johnson, who was pardoned from a life sentence in 2018 stemming from a 1996 conviction on nonviolent drug charges.  



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