Despite having support from advocates and the Pope, Ernest Johnson was executed today (October 5). It is a case that has stolen attention from a worldwide audience in recent weeks as Johnson’s execution date approached, and to the disappointment to some and the approval of others, his death sentence stood.
Johnson was imprisoned over the 1994 robbery that left three people beaten to death. Advocates cited that Johnson suffered from a mental disability or was intellectually disabled and should not have been executed, but Missouri Governor Mike Parson stood his ground.
“The state is prepared to deliver justice and carry out the lawful sentence Mr. Johnson received in accordance with the Missouri Supreme Court’s order,” Parson said. Johnson died of lethal injection at 6:11 p.m. The New York Times shared Johnson’s last words.
“I want to say that I love my family and friends,” he stated, also thanking his lawyer for their efforts. “For all the people that has prayed for me I thank them.”
Pope Francis and several politicians from Missouri appealed to Gov. Parson to no avail. The controversial execution has sparked yet another discussion regarding the death penalty, as people for and against it have been arguing on social media.