Missouri is planning to execute an inmate on Tuesday, regardless of a plea from Pope Francis to not put him to loss of life.
Gov. Mike Parson had been going through strain to grant clemency for Ernest Johnson, who’s going through a loss of life sentence for a 1994 triple homicide – however he confirmed he wouldn’t take that step in a statement on the eve of the execution date.
“The state is prepared to deliver justice and carry out the lawful sentence Mr. Johnson received in accordance with the Missouri Supreme Court’s order,” Parson (R) stated Monday.
Others calling to cease the 61-year-old inmate’s execution are Democratic Reps. Cori Bush and Emmanuel Cleaver. Johnson has been known as “intellectually disabled” by his legal professionals in courtroom filings.
Attorney Jeremy Weis advised the AP he was dissatisfied by the governor’s determination.
“We believe we made a compelling case to him that it was the right moral decision and I guess he disagreed,” Weis stated.
Johnson confessed to killing three employees at a comfort retailer in Columbia with a hammer and screwdriver throughout a theft.
The Pope had urged clemency not simply due to Johnson’s “doubtful intellectual capacity,” Archbishop Christophe Pierre stated in a letter to Parson on the pontiff’s behalf.
“His Holiness wishes to place before you the simple fact of Mr. Johnson’s humanity and the sacredness of all human life,” the letter said, according to Vatican News.
“Is not a universal recognition of our sacred human dignity the best possible defense for society against the war and violence in our world?”
Johnson was convicted of the crime thrice, together with his first two sentences thrown out on attraction. He had requested to be killed by a firing squad quite than by way of the state’s controversial methodology of deadly injection, which he feared would trigger painful seizures.