Police barricades have been put up around the Oklahoma governor’s mansion as celebrities like Kim Kardashian petition him to stop Thursday’s planned execution of death row inmate Julius Jones.
The ring of orange and white protection was in place by late Tuesday, as protesters once again returned to implore Gov. Kevin Stitt to stop the lethal injection, photos tweeted by a Fox 25 reporter showed.
Oklahoma City Police tweeted that the barricades were requested “to provide a safe place for those who show up for peaceful gatherings.”
Jones, 41, is set to be put to death by lethal injection at 4 p.m. Thursday after nearly 20 years on death row for a 1999 murder he maintains he didn’t commit.
His fate completely rests with the Republican governor, whose rep insisted he is “carefully considering” the state’s Pardon and Parole Board’s 3-1 vote to recommend Stitt grant clemency.
“The governor takes his role in this process seriously,” Stitt spokesman Charlie Hannema said.
Jones, 41, was convicted in 2002 for shooting dead businessman Paul Howell during a carjacking in 1999.
Prosecutors said the evidence was overwhelming, but Jones claims he was framed by the real killer, a high school friend and co-defendant who testified against Jones and was released from prison after 15 years.
The case hit the spotlight in 2018 with ABC’s “The Last Defense,” a three-episode documentary produced by actress Viola Davis.
Since then, reality TV star and aspiring civil rights lawyer Kardashian has been one of many stars urging for Stitt to commute Jones’ death sentence.
“This is the cold machinery of the Death Penalty in America … an innocent man could be put to death,” she tweeted on Tuesday. “My heart breaks for Julius and so many others who have suffered from such tragic miscarriage of justice.”
Others stars pushing for Stitt to stop the execution include athletes with Oklahoma ties, including NBA stars Russell Westbrook, Blake Griffin and Trae Young.
Nearly 6.5 million people have signed a Change.org petition titled, “Julius Jones is innocent. Don’t let him be executed.”
Two of the three parole board members who voted for clemency had been appointed by Stitt.
“Personally, I believe in death penalty cases there should be no doubts. And put simply, I have doubts about this case,” said one of them, Adam Luck.
With Post wires