Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield on Wednesday teared up while talking about the scheduled execution of Julius Jones in Oklahoma on Thursday.
Jones was convicted of first degree murder in 2002 is on death row for the 1999 murder of Paul Howell, who was shot in the driveway of his parents’ home.
Jones has maintained his innocence, claiming he was set up by an acquaintance who planted the gun in his home after the murder. The state’s Pardon and Parole Board, after reviewing the case files and evidence, voted 3-1 this month to recommend that Jones’ death sentence be commuted to life in prison with the possibility of parole. The final decision of whether Jones will be executed by the state on Thursday comes down to Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt.
“It’s pretty rough, to be honest with you,” Mayfield said on Wednesday, pausing to gather his thoughts and composure. “That’s not something that’s easy to talk about. Been trying to get the facts stated and the truth to be told for a while, but it’s tough to think about. Tried and tried. It’s a shame it’s gotten this far. We’re 24 hours away. It’s tough. You know, hopefully God can intervene and handle it correctly and do the things He needs to do.”
Mayfield also wrote an open letter in May of 2020 showing his support for Jones’ cause. In that letter, Mayfield referenced court documents that stated a juror called Jones a racial slur.
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SOURCE: USA Today; Akron Beacon Journal, Ryan Lewis