No mercy for Ernest Lee Johnson!
A convicted murderer was executed in the USA on Wednesday night. As the authorities announced, the 61-year-old was executed with lethal injection in the US state of Missouri.
The case was highly controversial because of the intellectual disability of the perpetrator – among other things, Pope Francis had campaigned for Johnson in addition to his lawyers. In vain: Missouri Governor Mike Parson did not want to spare him.
Parson said, “The state stands ready to bring justice to justice and to carry out the lawful sentence Mr Johnson received.” He referred to a decision by the Supreme Court that ruled that the death penalty could be carried out.
The mentally handicapped Johnson, who is said to have an IQ score of 67, killed three grocery store clerks in a failed robbery in 1994.
Last week, the Vatican’s envoy in the United States sent a letter to the governor on behalf of Pope Francis demanding that the execution be suspended.
The letter stated: “This request is not based solely on the dubious intellectual abilities of Mr. Johnson.” Rather, the Pope wants to point out “that Mr. Johnson is human and that all human life is sacred”.
The execution of the mentally handicapped has actually been banned for a long time in the United States. However, the exact definition of intellectual disability is left to the state.