Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield fighting for justice in Oklahoma
A former Oklahoma student trying to earn an engineering degree was found guilty of a murder in 1999 and is still fighting to prove his innocence. Sitting on death row, Julius Jones found a new ally as Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield has decided to get involved.
Mayfield, who has been active in speaking out against police brutality and racial injustice has taken an interest in this case due to the events that surround it. He now goes another step as he has written a letter to Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt.
In his letter, Mayfield points to the injustice and obvious errors in the way the case was handled. As Camryn Justice of News 5 Cleveland points out, the case was seemingly decided before it began.
"“In addition to claims of racially-fueled language from officers handling Jones’ case during the court proceedings, the state dismissed all prospective Black jurors but one. One of the 12 jurors who convicted Jones and sentenced him to death confessed that another juror described the trial as “a waste of time”.” — Justice, News 5 Cleveland"
Justice says one theory is that Jones’ co-defendant set him up. He pled guilty and served a 15-year sentence for his part in the crime whereas Jones was given the death penalty and is still in prison 20 years later.
Many other athletes have joined in support as Blake Griffin, Russell Westbrook, Trae Young and Buddy Hield of the NBA are all on record trying to get Jones’ case looked at once again, also according to Justice.
Mayfield was a star at Oklahoma from 2015-2017 after transferring from Texas Tech. He won a Heisman for the Sooners and remains a wildly popular figure in that community, just as he had become in Cleveland during his two seasons in the NFL.
Now, he is using that platform to try and make a change for the better.