Missouri executes man mentioned to be disabled, regardless of pope’s name for clemency

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Oct 5 (Reuters) – Missouri executed convicted assassin Ernest Johnson on Tuesday night after each Governor Mike Parson and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to grant the clemency sought by Pope Francis, amongst others, on the grounds that Johnson was intellectually disabled.

Johnson, 61, was discovered responsible by a jury of murdering three convenience-store staff in 1994. He was injected with a deadly dose of pentobarbital, a strong barbiturate, within the state’s execution chamber within the metropolis of Bonne Terre.

He was pronounced lifeless at 6:11 p.m. CDT (2311 GMT), the Missouri Department of Corrections mentioned in an announcement.

His legal professionals mentioned there was overwhelming proof of Johnson’s mental incapacity. They requested the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to halt the execution as a result of executing intellectually disabled folks breaches a constitutional ban on “cruel and unusual punishments.”

The conservative-majority Supreme Court not often blocks executions, and denied Johnson’s petition in a short unsigned order late Tuesday afternoon. The Missouri Supreme Court had rejected Johnson’s mental incapacity declare in August.

Johnson was born with fetal alcohol syndrome dysfunction, scored low on IQ exams all through his life and had the “daily living skills” of a 4-year-old little one, his legal professionals mentioned.

The pope and former Missouri Governor Bob Holden, a Democrat who mentioned 20 men were executed throughout his personal tenure, had requested that Johnson’s life be spared. U.S. Representatives Cori Bush and Emanuel Cleaver II, each Democrats representing Missouri, additionally requested the governor, a Republican, for clemency.

Parson denied clemency on Monday for what his workplace known as a “brutal murder.”

“Mr. Johnson’s claim that he is not competent to be executed has been reviewed and rejected by a jury and the courts six different times, including a unanimous decision by the Missouri Supreme Court,” Parson’s workplace mentioned in an announcement.

A jury discovered Johnson responsible of bludgeoning to demise Mary Bratcher, Mabel Scrubbs and Fred Jones utilizing a hammer, a screwdriver and a gun.

Reporting by Jonathan Allen in New York; Editing by Aurora Ellis and Leslie Adler

REUTERS/Jenevieve Robbins/Texas Dept of Criminal Justice/Handout via Reuters