Clemency For Quin

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Dear Governor Abbott and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles,

We are writing on behalf of Quintin Phillippe Jones, who is scheduled to be executed by the state of Texas on May 19, 2021. We are not asking for Jones's freedom or forgiveness -- he has not forgiven himself for the murder of his great aunt Berthena Bryant when he was a drug-addicted and angry 20-year-old man. Instead, we ask you to see that in his time on death row, Jones has transformed himself into a kind and thoughtful man. We ask that you allow him to spend the rest of his natural life in prison.

Jones's death sentence is fraught with numerous troubling details.

1. The state's argument for Jones's future dangerousness — the lynchpin for the imposition of the death penalty — was based on discredited science and a flawed methodology that has since been rejected for use in death penalty cases, including by the creator of the protocol itself. In addition, the jury and the court could not take into account recent neuroscientific findings that show people's brains do not reach full maturity until at least their mid-20s.

2. There is a specific disparate treatment concern here as Riky "Red" Roosa, the ringleader who is white and 18 years older than Jones, was convicted of murdering two other persons and received only life sentences with the possibility of parole. Jones, who is black, was put on death row after being convicted of one murder.

3. Through the end of his first post-conviction federal habeas proceeding, Jones's legal counsel repeatedly missed filing deadlines and failed to challenge critical scientific and legal issues.  Afterward, Jones's new legal counsel was unable to convince the courts to correct the damage caused by prior legal counsel.

4. Finally, Berthena Bryant's sister and great-nephew -- Jones's great-aunt and twin brother -- have long forgiven Quin and ask that the state not traumatize them again by executing him.

Quintin Jones had an unimaginable childhood overwhelmed by abuse and drugs, and yet he does not blame his circumstances or anyone but himself for his crime. He has spent his years on death row seeking redemption. No matter where we stand on the death penalty itself, we believe that it would be an injustice to execute him. We ask that his death sentence be commuted and that he be allowed to continue his quest for redemption in prison.