Death Row prisoner refuses final meal before execution

Emma Guinness

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Death Row prisoner refuses final meal before execution

Featured Image Credit: Credit: Courtesy of Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty

Last meals are one of the most famous death row traditions, but one inmate decided that he was not hungry in the lead up to his execution.

Kevin Johnson, 37, who faced the death penalty for murdering a police officer, declined his last meal and offered 'no comment' when given the opportunity to say his last words.

He was executed on Thursday (24 November) via the lethal injection at the the state prison in Bonne Terre, Missouri.

Prior to this, his last minute appeal to the US Supreme Court was denied and his teenager daughter, Khorry Ramey, 19, was denied permission to watch the execution, as witnesses have to be at least 21.

Johnson's legal team argued that his punishment was racially motivated. Credit: Missouri Department of Corrections
Johnson's legal team argued that his punishment was racially motivated. Credit: Missouri Department of Corrections

Johnson's legal team argued that he was handed the death penalty because of alleged racism, although his guilt in committing the crime was never disputed.

He murdered police officer William McEntee of Kirkwood Police Department after he alleged that the officer did not do everything in his power to prevent the death of his brother, who was 12.

While Johnson's daughter was not able to join in him in his final moments, a spiritual advisor, Reverend Darryl Gray, was present as he received the lethal injection.

According to reports, they spoke until the lethal substance was injected.

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The reverend later said: "We read scripture and had a word of prayer.

"He apologised again. He apologised to the victim's family. He apologised to his family. He said he was looking forward to seeing his baby brother. And he said he was ready."

Johnson's claim that his execution was racially motivated was backed by lawyers and protestors, and a small group of around 30 gathered outside the Governor's Mansion in Jefferson City, Missouri to protest the execution.

One of the protestors, who gathered yesterday (29 November), held a sign that read: "Stop State Murder".

Another group also gathered in St Louis outside the Civil Courts Building for the same purpose.

Johnson murdered McEntee in 2005. Credit: Kirkwood Police Department
Johnson murdered McEntee in 2005. Credit: Kirkwood Police Department

Johnson's daughter, Khorry, said that the court's decision to deny her presence in her father's execution chamber was the latest loss she has had to suffer in her life.

She said in her court filing: "I have suffered so much loss in my life - first I lost my father to prison when I was two, and then I watched my mother's ex-boyfriend murder her when I was only four years old.

"It is excruciating to know that I am about to lose my father all over again."

Topics: News, US News, Crime, True crime

Emma Guinness
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