The quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, Dak Prescott, sent a letter to Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt requesting the release of a black man who is sentenced to death.
In the document that Prescott copied to the state board of pardons and parole, he wrote that he himself as an athlete of color “experiences injustices firsthand.”
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The letter obtained by The Time pleads for Julius Jones, a black inmate sentenced to death for the 1999 murder of Paul Howell, a white businessman from Edmond, a suburb of Oklahoma City, during a carjacking.
“Current events are shedding much-needed light on deep-seated prejudice and systemic mistreatment of blacks, and it is my sincere hope that today’s cultural movements will lead to significant social changes that create a better tomorrow,” Prescott writes .
“To that end, you are all in the unique position of being able to have a direct impact by addressing a specific judicial error.”
At this time of national judgment on the racial injustice that has gripped America after the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and many others, athletes have played a leading role in having difficult conversations about race by front of the national dialogue.
Julius Jones’s case has received wide attention. A Viola Davis-produced documentary series that aired on ABC in 2018, The Last Defense, covered it in depth, while the Julius Jones Coalition has helped attract more than 6 million signatures to a Change.org petition calling Jones. , who won an academic scholarship to the University of Oklahoma prior to his conviction.