The U.S. Supreme Court, this term, will conference an extraordinary case, Jones v. Oklahoma, that asks a “big question” on racial bias and death sentencing in Oklahoma. If the risk of racial bias in Oklahoma can be statistically proven, does that make a death sentence unconstitutional? The high court previously found that racial bias is a “constitutionally impermissible” factor in death sentencing.
Julius Jones was an honors student and a college athlete when he says he was wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death because of unreliable informant witnesses and inherent racial bias in the Oklahoma criminal justice system. Jones has two important sources of evidence that racism impacted his case. First, there are multiple, direct examples of racial bias in his case, including a juror who used the “n-word” about him. His attorneys also cite a 22-year, first-of-its kind statistical analysis of all capital sentences in Oklahoma. The results are conclusive.