In a 3 to 1 vote, the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board is recommending the sentence of death row inmate Julius Jones be commuted. Their recommendation was that he serve life with the possibility of parole.
The governor of Oklahoma, Kevin Stitt, will have the final decision
Jones was convicted of murdering 45-year old businessman Paul Howell, but a group of Oklahoma athletes including Brooklyn Nets forward Blake Griffin, Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young, Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook and Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield all believed the case was wrongfully convicted.
This past summer, Mayfield and others wrote letters to the governor about the case. He also took part in a video supporting Jones that came out this past December.
Mayfield had Julius Jones on the back of his helmet for the 2020 season in an effort to raise awareness of the issue. He also wore cleats with his likeness on them.
Jones has always maintained his innocence, believing that he was inadequately defended by his court appointed lawyers. They did not call any of what he describes are his alibi witnesses.
Kim Kardashian West has also been involved in this fight and tweeted out the following upon receiving the news of the board recommendation.
Mayfield, West and others are unlikely to stop fighting for Jones. They want to make sure he's no longer on death row, but listening to Mayfield, it's unlikely he has any intention of relenting until Jones is ultimately free from prison.
For now, it's in the governor's hands to decide if his sentence will be commuted to life with the possibility of parole.