By The Associated Press
Kim Kardashian West has joined a chorus of voices calling for clemency for a Black man on Oklahoma’s death row who has exhausted his appeals, arguing that a racist juror tainted the outcome of his 2002 trial.
Julius Jones was convicted of murder for the 1999 slaying of 45-year-old Paul Howell, who was fatally shot in the driveway of his parents’ home in Edmond, Okla.
Jones filed a clemency petition with the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board on Oct. 15, asking that his death sentence to be commuted to time served.
Kardashian West tweeted to her 62 million followers Oct. 16 to urge the board and Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt to consider Jones’ clemency petition.
Jones filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that a juror was racist toward him during his trials. The claim came to light when a juror told Jones’ lawyers in 2017 that another juror used a racist term to describe Jones and said authorities should “shoot (Jones) behind the jail.”
The high court rejected that appeal in April.
Kardashian West has been an outspoken criminal justice reform advocate. Last year, Kardashian West successfully lobbied Trump to grant clemency to Alice Marie Johnson, a grandmother who was serving a life sentence without parole for drug offenses.
In June, she took a trip to the White House to help President Donald Trump promote a ride-sharing partnership expected to give former prisoners gift cards to help them get to and from job interviews, work and family events.
Kardashian West’s support of Jones comes after years of rejected appeals in his case.
In January, the U.S. Supreme Court handed Jones another rejection after he argued that people of color are more likely to be sentenced to death in Oklahoma when the victim is White, which Howell was. Last year, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals also rejected Jones’ appeal.