Missouri: Johnny Johnson executed – despite massive mental and psychological disorders
On Tuesday night, 45-year-old Johnny Johnson was executed by lethal injection in the US state of Missouri. He was sentenced to death for kidnapping a six-year-old girl in 2002 and beating her to death after attempting to abuse her.
Johnson expressed remorse in a brief handwritten statement released by the Department of Corrections just hours before the execution. “God bless us. I am sorry for the people and family I have hurt,” his statement said.
At Johnson’s trial, defense attorneys had testified that their client – a former convict who had been released from a state psychiatric facility six months before the crime – had stopped taking his schizophrenia medication and was acting strangely in the days leading up to the killing.
Also currently, his lawyers argued in vain that their client should not be executed because of his severe mental disorders, as he could not grasp the connection between his crime and his sentence. In the final appeals, Johnson’s representatives stated that he had delusions that the devil was using his death to bring about the end of the world.
The attitude of the victims’ relatives, as is so often the case, is ambivalent. While the girl’s father opposes the death penalty, according to attorneys, a great-aunt made a strongly emotional plea to the governor to carry out the death sentence.