Missouri: Kevin Johnson executed – his 19-year-old daughter was not allowed to accompany her father
On Tuesday evening, 37-year-old Kevin Johnson was executed by lethal injection in the US state of Missouri. He had shot a white police officer when he was 19 years old.
On the day of the crime, his 12-year-old brother had died after a severe seizure while police were in the family home. Kevin Johnson blamed the police officers for the death of his brother, later repeatedly stated how much he regretted his action.
Neither the governor of Missouri nor the courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, were willing to stop the execution. In the process, even a special prosecutor assigned to the case had requested a stay because there was serious evidence that Johnson’s death sentence was racially biased.
His case also hit the media in recent days because his 19-year-old daughter was not allowed to witness her father’s execution – Missouri does not allow witnessing until age 21.
Critics stated their incomprehension that Missouri would sentence a 19-year-old to death but not allow a 19-year-old to witness the execution. They said that if a young person – or family members for that matter – were to be protected from such a traumatic experience, the death penalty should simply be dispensed with altogether.
About 100 people had gathered outside the prison for a vigil.
Missouri: 19-year-old wants to attend her father’s execution