Missouri death row inmate's execution can proceed after court rejects racial bias claim
The execution of Kevin Johnson can move forward Tuesday after Missouri's highest court rejected a claim that the case was tainted by racial bias and determined it would not be successful in legal challenges. Special prosecutor Edward Keenan had argued that the state's initial handling of Kevin Johnson's case was rife with "racist prosecution techniques" that played into his conviction and death sentence in the 2005 killing of a Missouri police officer. Johnson was 19 at the time of the arrest.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal judge has denied a request from a 19-year-old woman to allow her to watch her father’s death by injection, upholding a Missouri law that bars anyone under 21 from witnessing an execution. © Provided by The Associated Press FILE - This photo provided by the Missouri Department of Corrections shows Kevin Johnson. A federal judge has denied a request from a 19-year-old woman to allow her to watch Johnson, her father’s death by injection. The decision upholds a Missouri law that bars anyone under 21 from witnessing an execution. Kevin Johnson is set to be executed Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022, for killing Kirkwood, Missouri, Police Officer William McEntee in 2005. (Missouri Department of Corrections via AP)
Kevin Johnson is set to be executed Tuesday for killing Kirkwood, Missouri, Police Officer William McEntee in 2005. Johnson’s lawyers have appeals pending that seek to spare his life.
Alabama 'execution survivor' reaches settlement with state
MONTGOMERY, Ala (AP) — Alabama won't seek another lethal injection date for an inmate whose September execution had been halted because of problems establishing an intravenous line, according to the terms of a settlement agreement approved on Monday. The state agreed to never use lethal injection again as an execution method to put Alan Eugene Miller to death. Any future effort to execute him will be done by nitrogen hypoxia, an execution method authorized in Alabama but that has never been used to carry out a death sentence in the US. There is currently no protocol in place for using nitrogen hypoxia. On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge R. Austin Huffaker Jr.
His daughter, Khorry Ramey, had sought to attend the execution, and the American Civil Liberties Union had filed an emergency motion with a federal court in Kansas City. The ACLU’s court filing said the age requirement served no safety purpose and violates Ramey’s constitutional rights. But U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes ruled late Friday that Ramey's constitutional rights would not be violated by the law.
“I’m heartbroken that I won’t be able to be with my dad in his last moments,” Ramey said in a statement. “My dad is the most important person in my life. He has been there for me my whole life, even though he’s been incarcerated."
While the judge acknowledged that the law would cause emotional harm for Ramey, he found that was just one part of the court's consideration and the law did not violate her constitutional rights.
Missouri executes Kevin Johnson for killing officer in 2005
A Missouri inmate convicted of ambushing and killing a St. Louis area police officer he blamed for the death of his younger brother was executed Tuesday, officials said. Kevin Johnson, 37, was put to death by lethal injection at the state prison in Bonne Terre. The execution began at 7:29 p.m., and Johnson was pronounced dead at 7:40 p.m., said Karen Pojmann, spokesperson for the Missouri Department of Corrections. Johnson did not give a final statement, she said. He declined a final meal.Johnson had admitted to shooting and killing Kirkwood police Sgt. William McEntee in 2005.
Ramey said she was praying that Gov. Michael Parson would grant her father clemency. Johnson’s lawyers have filed appeals seeking to halt the execution. They don’t challenge his guilt but claim racism played a role in the decision to seek the death penalty, and in the jury’s decision to sentence him to die. Johnson is Black and McEntee was white.
Johnson’s lawyers also have asked the courts to intervene for other reasons, including a history of mental illness and his age — he was 19 at the time of the crime. Courts have increasingly moved away from sentencing teen offenders to death since the Supreme Court in 2005 banned the execution of offenders who were younger than 18 at the time of their crime.
In a court filing to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Missouri Attorney General’s Office stated there were no grounds for court intervention.
“The surviving victims of Johnson’s crimes have waited long enough for justice, and every day longer that they must wait is a day they are denied the chance to finally make peace with their loss,” the state petition stated.
Iran defies outcry with second protest execution .
Iran on Monday executed a second man in connection with protests that have shaken the regime for almost three months, defying an international outcry over its use of capital punishment against those involved in the movement. - New EU sanctions - EU ministers meeting in Brussels were Monday expected to impose fresh sanctions on Iran over the crackdown on the protesters and its supply of drones to Russia used in the war on Ukraine. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the bloc was going to "approve a very, very tough package of sanctions".