The justice system can be many things, sometimes even wrong and unfair. Actress Viola Davis and her husband Julius Tennon have produced a docu-series called The Last Defense, which puts the spotlight on the cases of death row inmates. In one such case, Both Darlie Routier and Julius Jones have been sentenced to death row after being convicted of heinous crimes. But what if both of them are really innocent?
With crime spiking in the United States in recent years, people are wondering how the U.S. justice system works and whether it has done enough to prevent people from committing crimes. Another point that is being discussed is whether the U.S. justice system is fair or not, and more importantly, does it offer special privileges to people of a preferred color?
Now, a new docu-series titled The Last Defense is promising to “explore and expose” flaws in the U.S. justice system by putting two emotionally charged death row cases under the microscope: Darlie Routier and Julius Jones.
The seven-episode docuseries covers Routier’s case in the first four episodes while the last three episodes are dedicated to the case of Jones. The Last Defense TV show premieres on Tuesday night, June 12, 2018, at 10:00 pm ET on ABC. And with the notable Viola Davis in charge of production, people are excited to see what’s in store for this series!
A Spotlight on Two Death Row Cases
The series is produced by actress Viola Davis and her husband Julius Tennon’s production company, JuVee. Viola Davis’ new show will shine a light on two prisoners, Darlie Routier and Julius Jones, who are on death row.
However, there is still much protest that they are innocent of the crimes being attributed to them and Davis will look at all angles of the cases.
People are asking, is The Last Defense based on true stories? Yes, they are. The Last Defense docu-series is based on the lives of two real people, Darlie Routier and Julius Jones, who are both on death row. They were slapped with the death sentence by the U.S. Court system over a decade ago, and have since maintained their innocence.
Mother & Children Stabbed
Darlie Routier has been on death row for almost 20 years now after her conviction in 1997 for the brutal murder of her two children.
The docuseries will re-investigate what happened on that fateful night of June 6, 1996, in Rowlett, Texas, when at 2:00 am local time, Routier called 911 and screamed: “They just stabbed me and my children.”
When the first responders came to the scene, they found the then 26-year-old Routier holding a towel to the stab wound on her neck.
They also found her two young sons, Devon and Damon, with deep stab wounds to their chests. Routier told the police that she had awakened that night with a man on top of her, but soon the police grew suspicious.
Physical Evidence Contradicts Routier
The police said that there were inconsistencies with Routier’s account and physical evidence. For example, there was no blood on the couch where she claimed to have been sleeping when she was stabbed.
Routier claimed that she had chased the attacker out of the house, but the blood stains were passive and there was no evidence consistent with running or any kind of persuit on the floor.
There was blood in and around the kitchen sink, suggesting that it was used in a cleanup. The police didn’t believe that Routier could not hear the supposed attacker in the house when he stabbed her five and six-year-old sons, who were sleeping within touching distance from her.
Evidence Points to Routier as Guilty
The investigators followed multiple leads but finally concluded that it was an inside job and the suspicion fell on Routier. Lt. David Nabors, head of the Rowlett Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division, said in 2016, “The evidence kept pointing back to someone in the house. The evidence kept pointing back to her and her inconsistencies in her statement.”
According to police, Routier had shown no emotion before she was arrested but cried when she was. Routier was charged and convicted of capital murder for the death of Damon and was sentenced to death by lethal injection. People who believe Routier is innocent claim that the police staged the crime scene and the prosecutors misconstrued her then-frame of mind.
Also in 2002, a forensic anthropologist found a bloody fingerprint on a glass table, and it did not match with anyone from the Routier family or the investigating team. Today ,Darlie Routier is still on death row in Gatesville, Texas, and continues to claim that she is innocent.
Death of an Executive
The other death row inmate being covered in this docu-series is Julius Jones, who was convicted of the murder of an insurance executive named Paul Scott Howell.
On July 28, 1999, 45-year-old Howell was shot in the head, and his GMC Suburban was stolen from his parent’s driveway in Edmond, Oklahoma when was returning from a back-to-school shopping trip he took with his two young daughters and his sister.
Two-and-a-half years after the murder, a then 21-year-old Julius Jones was convicted of the crime. He was found guilty of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit a felony.
At that time, Jones was a University of Oklahoma freshman on a Presidential Leadership Scholarship. In his trial, Jones’ lawyers blamed his co-defendant, a then 22-year-old man named Christopher Jordan, who had admitted to giving different versions of his story. Jones, an upstanding citizen of color, has always maintained his innocence in the case.
Courts Uphold Conviction
Jones’ defense has claimed that Jordan lied to the police, to his lawyers, and made a deal with the prosecutors in exchange for his testimony, before pleading guilty to a charge of first-degree murder.
Jones appealed against the verdict several times but to no avail as the court said that the evidence of his involvement in Howell’s murder was quite strong. This racially-charged case (and bogus testimony) caught the attention of national news and Viola has brought it back square into the spotlight.
Makers Hold Out Fervent Hope
Now, The Last Defense will once again bring these two heavily debated death row cases to the forefront and inform millions of people of its details.
Viola Davis spoke about her vision for her production company saying, “I do believe the voiceless have a voice and they are screaming loud and clear. I don’t think people are hearing or seeing them.”
Come Tuesday night, June 12, 2018, 10:00 pm ET, on ABC, a lot of people will! Be sure to tune into ABC to see The Last Defense and make your own informed opinions on these two chilling cases!