The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals (OCCA) recently dismissed the petition by death row prisoner Julius Jones, who sought a hearing to present new evidence of racial bias in his case.
Jones, who has always maintained his innocence, was featured in the ABC Television series, “The Last Defense,” which aired in July. Jones’ attorneys maintain that new evidence is expected to show that one juror harbored racial prejudice that influenced his vote to convict and sentence Jones to death. One juror reported telling the judge about another juror who said the trial was a waste of time and “‘they should just take the n….. out and shoot him behind the jail.’’ The juror reported that the other juror who made this comment was never removed and the court did nothing.
While Jones’ attorneys suggest that no court has ever considered all the evidence in the case, and specifically the racial bias, the OCCA apparently disagreed and will not hear the case based on racial bias.
Jones is on death row in Oklahoma for the 1999 murder of Paul Howell, who was shot and killed in Edmond during the theft of his SUV.