Julius Jones has been granted clemency by the Ohio Board of Pardons and Paroles but he is still scheduled to be executed on Wednesday, 9 September.
Jones, who was part of the Ohio prison murder of Michael Madison, was targeted because his girlfriend, Angela Deskins, was his intended victim.
“Jones was targeted because he was Angela Deskins’ boyfriend and that a witness was being threatened about his testimony. It is unlikely that [the state] will be able to demonstrate Jones posed a ‘persistent and serious threat to public safety’,” said Greg Ewing, the Kentucky attorney for Jones, in a statement.
Bria Young from StopTheExecution.org said to us: “The official status of Julius Jones’ clemency application is being suppressed. Supporters have asked why Julius is being protected by clemency because this is a fact.”
“This is about our right to know what happens,” she continued. “I wish clemency could be granted but in reality it is unlikely to be granted. The case against Jones hinges around its “evidence”. Whether that evidence is there or not is a matter of opinion.”
Jones currently stands at risk of being executed. His supporters said they would attend the evening press conference held by Governor Kasich to request clemency from the state.
The new clemency application refers to the testimony provided to justify the legal proceedings against Jones and the state’s argument that Jones’s views on slavery had changed since the mid-nineteenth century.
Jones’s supporters argue that Jones is intellectually disabled, which would cause a delay in the execution as well as his human rights, but it was not immediately clear how this could be established and, if it could, whether the appropriate standard of proof for such claims was met.