The state of Missouri killed a prisoner by deadly injection on Tuesday, ending a prolonged battle by activists to spare the lifestyle of a gentleman convicted in a brutal 1994 triple murder.
Ernest Johnson, 61, was injected with a deadly dose of pentobarbital at Bonne Terre prison and died at 6:11 p.m. right after final-moment pleas for clemency from advocates such as Pope Francis.
His death arrived hours soon after the US Supreme Court docket took a pass on a lengthy-shot attempt by his lawyers to preserve him alive.
A two-sentence purchase Tuesday afternoon from Justice Brett Kavanaugh denied a keep of execution for Johnson, who was the seventh individual put to dying in the US this yr and the very first who wasn’t a federal prisoner or executed in Texas.
Johnson’s attorneys experienced claimed that his execution was unconstitutional because he was “intellectually disabled.” He was born with fetal liquor syndrome and had lost brain tissue from a 2007 tumor-elimination medical procedures.
Politicians and other advocates had also pushed Gov. Mike Parson to grant clemency to Johnson, who is black, on racial justice grounds.
The Pope joined the calls in the times ahead of the execution. In a letter sent on his behalf by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, he pointed out Johnson’s “humanity and the sacredness of all human life.
“His Holiness wishes to location right before you the basic reality of Mr. Johnson’s humanity and the sacredness of all human existence,” the letter mentioned, according to Vatican Information.
Parson, a Republican, announced Monday, on the eve of the execution, that the point out would shift forward with the sentence.
Johnson killed a few workers at Casey’s Common Shop all through a Feb. 12, 1994 theft. He made use of a hammer and screwdriver to kill Mary Bratcher, 46, Mabel Scruggs, 57, and Fred Jones, 58, authorities reported.
He was convicted 3 occasions for the criminal offense soon after his to start with two sentences ended up thrown out on appeal.
Johnson had questioned to be killed by a firing squad rather than by way of the state’s controversial strategy of deadly injection, which he feared would cause painful seizures.
The Supreme Court turned down his ask for.
His last food was two bacon double cheeseburgers, two strawberry milkshakes and a massive pizza, officials mentioned.
With Write-up wires