Corionsa Ramey, a 19-year-old American, was not allowed to accompany her father in his last moments of life. The US state of Missouri has executed a man sentenced to death for the murder of a police officer, after an intense legal battle. Kevin Johnson, a 37-year-old African-American, received a lethal injection in a prison in Bonne-Terre. His death was declared this Wednesday at 1:40 a.m. French time, according to a press release from the Missouri prison services.
His daughter banned from attending the execution
His defenders tried until the last minute to convince the courts to stay his execution, in particular because of suspicions of racism in the proceedings. But they have suffered failure after failure.
His daughter was banned from attending the execution, a local law setting 21 as the minimum age for this. “I am heartbroken that I cannot be with my father in his last moments, she commented after the rejection of her complaint. He has been there for me all my life, despite his imprisonment. He’s a good father, the only parent I have left. »
The 17th prisoner executed in 2022 in the United States
According to court documents, Kevin Johnson shot and killed a white police officer on July 5, 2005, in the suburbs of St. Louis. His 12-year-old brother had died of a heart attack two hours earlier and he had convinced himself that the police, present at the time of death, were responsible.
After a first trial in which the jurors could not agree on the verdict, he was sentenced in 2007 to the death penalty. But the then St. Louis prosecutor, replaced in 2019, was accused of treating black and white suspects differently, prompting his successor to open a unit to correct potential miscarriages of justice.
In this context, a special prosecutor was appointed in the fall to examine Kevin Johnson’s case. In mid-November, he asked the court to suspend the execution until his investigation was concluded. His appeal, as well as a comparable request brought by the lawyers of Kevin Johnson, were rejected Monday evening by the Supreme Court of Missouri, then Tuesday in extremis by the Supreme Court of the United States. Kevin Johnson is the 17th prisoner executed since the beginning of the year in the United States.