Kim Kardashian West is "grateful" after Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt reduced the prison sentence of a man who was set to be executed.
Like many famous faces and athletes, Kim had been pushing the governor to stay the execution of death row inmate Julius Jones. On Nov. 18, just a few hours before Julius was set to be executed, Gov. Stitt commuted Julius' sentence to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
"Thank you so much Governor Stitt for commuting Julius Jones sentence to life without parole and stopping his execution today," Kim tweeted afterward. "I spent most of my day on the phone with Julius yesterday in between his lawyer meetings and family visitation which still are not contact visits. Meaning he cannot still hug his family members before being executed. He hasn't in over 20 years."
Julius' case was thrust into the national spotlight in 2018 following a Viola Davis-produced docuseries that cast doubt about his guilt. Julius, then 19 years old, was arrested in 1999 for the shooting death of a 45-year old man. He was convicted of first-degree murder in 2002 and sentenced to death. Julius and his team have long maintained his innocence.
Kim, who has become quite the advocate for prison reform, got involved in the case after the aforementioned ABC docuseries.
Ever since Julius' arrest, many have persisted that it was racially-motivated. Critics argue that little evidence actually ties him to the crime, and Julius' mother has always insisted he was home the evening the murder occurred. Julius still believes he doesn't even fit the description that the victim's sister gave authorities. His family also argued that he had a shoddy defense team during his trial.
Recalling her conversation with Julius on the eve of what was to have been his execution, Kim tweeted, "While I was on the phone with him somebody came in the room to try to give him his anti-anxiety meds that you usually are forced to take before you are executed so that you can be more calm about the fact that you are about to be executed. However Julius refused because he said he has a clear conscience and that gives him peace knowing he is innocent and did not want to be drugged up."
"He also wanted me to pass a few messages along that were really important to him," she continued. "The most important is that you have to always make sure you are doing the right thing. Julius was hanging out with the wrong crowd and that landed him in the position he's in today. He said if you are doing something your mom wouldn't approve of then you shouldn't be doing it. It's that simple! I'm so grateful to everyone who used their voice and helped to save Julius's life today. Thank you to the parole board and Governor Stitt."