The Execution of Johnny Johnson Who Mercilessly Killed A 6-Year-Old Girl Has Taken Place On Tuesday, Despite ‘Documented’ Illness

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Over the protestations of his attorneys, Missouri executed a death row convict for the 2002 murder of a little girl.

According to court records, Johnny Johnson, 45, was sentenced to death for murdering 6-year-old Casey Williamson after abducting and attempting to rape her. Republican Gov. Mike Parson denied clemency on Monday, calling the crime “one of the most horrific” to come across his desk.

The Execution of Johnny Johnson Who Mercilessly Killed A 6-Year-Old Girl Has Taken Place On Tuesday, Despite a ‘Documented’ Illness

Johnny Johnson was executed by lethal injection Tuesday evening, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, a CNN affiliate. At 6:33 p.m., he was pronounced dead. CT, a Missouri Department of Corrections official confirmed to CNN.

According to the Death Penalty Information Center, he was the fourth convict executed in Missouri this year and the 16th in the United States.

In a last message released by correctional officials, Johnson apologized to his victim’s family: “God Bless(.) Sorry to the people and family I hurt,” Johnny Johnson wrote.

Asking for little mercy

Prior to Tuesday, Pope Francis urged Parson, a Baptist, to grant Johnny Johnson clemency based on “our own shared humanity.” Democratic Reps. Emanuel Cleaver of Kansas City and Cori Bush of St. Louis also urged Parson to overturn Johnson’s death sentence, claiming Johnny Johnson lacked a “rational understanding of the reasons for his execution.”

According to the Post-Dispatch, Casey’s family did not issue a statement following Johnny Johnson’s execution. According to the release, family members had varied sentiments about the execution, but Casey’s mother was ready to move on.

“I’ve been looking forward to putting this part of it to rest,” Angie Wideman stated last week. CNN has contacted her.

Johnny Johnson was executed by lethal injection after the US Supreme Court granted his plea for a stay of execution, with three liberal justices dissenting.

“The Court today paves the way for the execution of a man with documented mental illness before any court meaningfully investigates his competency to be executed,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in her dissent, citing in part Ford v. Wainwright, in which the court ruled that the Eighth Amendment prohibits the execution of someone who is unable to understand what is going on. Justices Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson also dissent.

Suspect’s Mental Condition

According to the inmate’s petition for writ of certiorari, a neuropsychiatrist who tested Johnny Johnson in February believed he had long “suffered from severe mental illness,” including schizophrenia.

The doctor found that Johnny Johnson recognized he was condemned to death for murdering a child, but he lacked a “rational understanding of the reasons for his execution” and felt that “Satan is using the State of Missouri to execute (him) to bring about the end of the world,” according to the petition. Finally, the doctor determined that Johnny Johnson was incapable to be executed.

The state objected to Johnny Johnson’s petition, citing the conclusions of his prison’s mental health director, who stated that Johnson had never “expressed these kinds of hallucinations or delusional beliefs.”

Sotomayor stated that both the Missouri Supreme Court and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals erred in denying Johnson the opportunity to address his case.

The state Supreme Court initially dismissed Johnny Johnson’s request for a competence hearing because it determined he did not meet the necessary threshold of insanity; a federal district court then denied relief.

The Eight Circuit Court of Appeals then granted Johnny  Johnson a stay and certificate of appealability, allowing him to have his case heard. However, the full Eighth Circuit later vacated the stay and refused to grant the certificate.

 

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