Activists organize 131-mile walk for Julius Jones’s freedom

The march will end with a rally for the death row inmate on Sunday at the Oklahoma state penitentiary

Julius Jones is currently on death row in Oklahoma, and a group of activists seeking justice for Jones are in the midst of walking 131 miles across Oklahoma in hopes of bringing awareness to his plight.

Despite maintaining his innocence and despite compelling evidence that he was wrongly convicted, Jones was charged with murdering businessman, Paul Howell in 1999. He was sentenced to death when he was only 22-years-old.

File photo provided by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (Oklahoma Department of Corrections via AP/The Oklahoman)

As previously mentioned by theGrio, when prison reform advocate Kim Kardashian West visited Jones in prison, her face-to-face meeting with the death row inmate sparked excitement and boosted morale for Jones’s family and supporters.

Read More: Kim Kardashian visits death row inmate Julius Jones

The march that kicked off on Thursday, December 31 at the State Capital in Oklahoma City, will conclude at the Department of Corrections in McAlester, Oklahoma on Sunday, January 3. The march was organized by Irv Roland and and a racially diverse five-person group of men and women will be participating.

The 131-mile walk was limited to only five people to maintain Covid-19 safety precautions as well as to ensure that the group is not viewed as a mob when they march through certain rural parts of the state, which could attract troublemakers.

Roland, an Oklahoma native and former coach for the Houston Rockets, became involved in the Justice for Julius case when his friend, rapper and activist J.B. Williams from Oklahoma City asked him to support the cause. Since Roland and Jones were former adversaries on the basketball court during their youth, Roland said it was “a no-brainer” for him to agree to lend his support.

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“Because I knew Julius, it’s something personal for me,” Roland said. “I spend a lot of time doing work with the criminal justice reform group, Until Freedom, a group co-founded by Tamika Mallory, so anytime I can be present, I try to make sure that I can be available for events like this.”

Roland, who currently lives in Los Angeles, flew in for the 3-day march. The participants will be walking approximately 40 plus miles per day and on Sunday, the group will meet up with supporters, celebrities and the media at a 3 p.m. rally at the state penitentiary in McAlester, Oklahoma.

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