This Mother’s Day, like the 20 others before it, I won’t be celebrating with my son, Julius. That’s because for the past two decades, he’s been on Oklahoma’s death row for a crime he didn’t commit. And I know he’s innocent, for certain, because my husband and I were with Julius the night of the murder.
I remember the night clearly. Julius arrived home around 4 p.m. We ate spaghetti for dinner as a family, he and his father watched TV, and then Julius went to bed—a very normal night. But we never got to testify on the stand during Julius‘ trial because his defense team was so inadequate.
To this day, despite everything Julius has been through, I still have hope that he will be released and we’ll get true justice—but that won’t happen without support from people like you.
This June, Julius was scheduled for a stage two hearing with the state Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board—his final chance to survive after exhausting all appeals. But we just got word that the hearing has been moved to September.
The stated reason for moving the date is to develop a more comprehensive, longer hearing. While my family and I are disappointed in the delay, we understand the reasoning, provided the hearing takes place without any further delay in September.
With the hearing being pushed back, building large, cross-country support for Julius over the next few months is crucial, and we’ll be working day and night to build that up.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, and I hope you’re able to spend time with the mother—or child—figures in your life today.