Missouri Correctional Bureau via AP
Pope Francisco has joined a choir of people calling on Missouri Governor Mike Parson to pardon a convict on death row who will be executed for killing three people in a 1994 convenience store robbery.
In a letter last week, a representative of Pope Francis wrote that the Pope “wants to put in front of you the simple facts of Mr Johnson’s humanity and the holiness of all human life.” Tuesday at 6 pm at Bontea’s state prison, about 50 miles (80 km) south of St. Louis.
Republican persons have been considering whether to commutate 61-year-old Johnson’s life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
Johnson’s lawyer, Jeremy Weiss, said executing him violated the Eighth Amendment to the US Constitution, which prohibits the execution of persons with intellectual disabilities. He said multiple IQ tests and other tests showed Johnson had the intellectual abilities of his child. He was also born with fetal alcohol syndrome and lost about 20% of his brain tissue in 2008 due to the removal of a benign tumor.
Racial justice activists and two Missouri lawmakers (Democratic Party member Cori Bush in St. Louis and Emanuel Cleaver in Kansas City) also called on the person to show mercy to the black Johnson.
The Missouri Supreme Court in August refused to suspend execution and refused to file another proceeding on Friday. Weiss and other Johnson lawyers called on the US Supreme Court on Monday to suspend executions.
“This is not a close case. Mr Johnson is a mentally handicapped person,” they wrote in court filings.
Johnson admitted to killing three workers at the Casey’s General Store in Colombia on February 12, 1994 — manager Mary Bracher (46) and employees Mabels Crags (57) and Fred Jones (58). .. Blatcher was also stabbed in his hand with a screwdriver.
At Johnson’s girlfriend’s house, executives found a bag containing $ 443, a coin wrapper, a partially burnt check, and tennis shoes that matched the bloody shoe marks found in the store.
Johnson had previously requested that his execution be carried out by a firing squad, but Missouri has not allowed the execution method. His lawyer claimed that Missouri’s lethal injection, pentobarbital, could cause seizures due to loss of brain tissue.
Johnson was sentenced to death in his first trial and two other times. The second death sentence in 2003 came after the US Supreme Court ruled that the execution of a mentally ill person was unconstitutionally cruel. The Missouri Supreme Court sentenced him to the second death sentence, and Johnson was sentenced to the third death sentence in 2006.
If the execution is on schedule, it will be the seventh in the United States this year, but the first in Texas with no federal prisoners or prisoners involved.
The peak year of modern executions was 1999, with 98 people nationwide. The number gradually declined, with only 17 being sentenced to death last year. According to a database edited by the Death Penalty Information Center.
Parliamentarians and Pope urge Missouri Governor to suspend executions: NPR
Source link Parliamentarians and Pope urge Missouri Governor to suspend executions: NPR