Missouri Executes Mentally Disabled Ernest Johnson by Lethal Injection

LE††UCE PREY

Johnson’s case drew national attention in recent weeks, with a range of public figures — from former Gov. Bob Holden to Pope Francis — urging Missouri Gov. Mike Parson to stop the execution. They pointed to years of low IQ tests, dating back to Johnson’s childhood, as evidence of an intellectual disability that made his execution unconstitutional.

But Gov. Parson, along with the Missouri Supreme Court, rejected Johnson’s claim, saying he wasn’t intellectually disabled because he planned his crime in advance and made other “strategic decisions.”

Johnson, 61, was convicted of killing Mable Scruggs, Fred Jones and Mary Bratcher during a botched robbery at a Columbia Casey’s convenience store in 1994. He shot the victims and attacked them with a claw hammer.

Johnson wrote a final statement that read in part:

 ‘I love the lord with all my heart and soul. If I am executed I know were I am going to heaven. Because I ask him to forgive me’.

Missouri Independent

AP

No scripture and/or proselytizing

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