By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY – As part of the Justice for Julius campaign, “Facebook Live Fridays” has recently been launched as a way to raise awareness of the wrongful conviction of Julius Jones, who has been on Oklahoma’s death row for over 20 years for a murder he did not commit.
The event is held at 6 p.m. each Friday on the Justice for Julius Facebook page.
During the program, Julius Jones Coalition founder Cece Jones-Davis conducts interviews with advocates who are speaking out on Julius’ behalf. Guests will share their unique perspective on Julius’ case and why they are working to see him set free.
Last week Facebook Live Fridays featured Jenifer Thompson, author of “Picking Cotton” and president of Healing Justice, a nonprofit which addresses the individual and collective harm caused by wrongful convictions, through restorative justice and justice reform.
“Jennifer has a unique perspective as the victim of a violent rape who wrongly identified her perpetrator, Ronald Cotton, who was imprisoned and later exonerated.
“We talked about what it is like to navigate the criminal justice system as the victim of a terrible crime and how she came to terms with mistakenly identifying an innocent man.
“Jennifer has written a letter to Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt on Julius’ behalf, and we greatly appreciated her sharing her story.”
If you missed the conversation with Jennifer, it can be viewed here.
“Today I am excited to announce that we will be talking to Fernando Bermudez, a man who spent 18 years in prison for a murder he did not commit before being exonerated and released,” Cece said.
Fernando was proven innocent in late 2009 with help from pro bono attorneys in Washington, D.C., New Jersey and New York. Bermudez’s exoneration makes him the first Latin-American male in NY-state legal history exonerated on “actual innocence” grounds.
The sole evidence against Bermudez involved mistaken and coerced eyewitness identification by five teenagers, who later recanted their testimony.
“Tune into our conversation today at 6 p.m. (CST),” Cece said.
To learn more about the Julius Jones’ case, visit justiceforjulius.com.