Viola Davis Offers ‘The Last Defense’ For People on Death Row

By Sameer Rao Jun 12, 2018

Julius Jones has spent nearly half of his life on death row. In 2002, an Oklahoma County court convicted the Black college student for the 1999 capital murder of a White insurance executive. "The Last Defense," a new documentary series from JuVee Productions examines the system that pushed Jones (who maintained his innocence through multiple denied appeals) and others onto death row. 

"The docuseries is important so people can understand that it is not always fair," Viola Davis says about the show—which she co-executive produces with husband Julius Tennon—in the trailer. According to ABC, "The Last Defense" illuminates this idea by interviewing attorneys, family and trial witnesses.

The series highlights possible misconduct and bias that lead to death sentences. This includes the attorney argument that prosecutors used racist rhetoric to justify Jones’ punishment, which Oklahoma courts disproportionately enforced on Black citizens.

Learn more when "The Last Defense" premieres tonight (June 12) on ABC.