04 December 2022 :
Kevin Johnson was executed.
Johnson, 37, Black, was pronounced dead at 7:40 p.m. CT. He didn’t give a final statement, according to Missouri Department of Corrections spokesperson Karen Pojmann.
Johnson was sentenced to die for the July 5, 2005, murder of Sgt. William McEntee, 43.
Johnson, who was 19 at the time of the murder, believed McEntee was responsible for the death of his 12-year-old brother because police completed a search before assisting the juvenile who had a seizure and collapsed. Johnson shot and killed McEntee hours later as the officer responded to a different call for service.
Johnson claimed racial bias in his prosecution.
St. Louis Circuit Judge Mary Elizabeth Ott appointed special prosecutor Edward Keenan to review Johnson's case in October. Keenan then sought to vacate Johnson's death sentence after finding that race was a "decisive factor" in his sentencing.
Of the 5 cases involving the death of a police officer in St. Louis during the past 28 years, Keenan found the St. Louis County prosecutor sought the death penalty for 4 cases involving Black defendants but not the only case with a white defendant.
The circuit court judge still denied Keenan's request to vacate Johnson's death sentence. And the Missouri Supreme Court on Monday upheld that decision.
The execution was not witnessed by Johnson’s 19-year-old daughter, who had failed this month to get a federal court to prevent the state from executing her father unless she was permitted to be a witness. Missouri law bars people younger than 21 from witnessing the proceeding.
Pojmann said Johnson met with his daughter earlier Tuesday.
The teen who was refused the chance to be with her dad as he was executed says the ‘justice system failed me’----Khorry Ramey was barred from attending the execution of Kevin Johnson because of an age restriction under Missouri law.
Khorry Ramey entered the state prison in Bonne Terre, Missouri, on Tuesday morning to visit her father, Kevin Johnson, for a final time.
The prison guards would not allow them to embrace, but the 19-year-old was permitted to bring her 2-month-old son, Kaius.
"We had a really emotional moment. He said he felt like he failed me as a father," she said Thursday. "We were able to get everything off our chests."
Ramey's age became a point of contention when Johnson prepared a list of witnesses to his execution and sought to include her. Missouri law requires witnesses to be at least 21, unlike most other states with no age requirement or a limit of at least 18.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on her behalf last week arguing that the statute violated her constitutional rights. A federal judge ruled against her, and she realized she would not get to see her father take his final breath Tuesday evening.
That chance would have been a part of her grieving process, Ramey added, after she lost her mother when she was 4. She was a witness to the killing of her mother, Dana Ramey, who was shot by a former boyfriend in 2007.
"It was crazy how a 19-year-old can be sentenced to the death penalty," she said, "but me at 19 can't be with my father at his last moment."
Johnson becomes the 2nd inmate to be put to death this year in Missouri and the 93rd overall since the state resumed capital punishment in 1989.
Johnson becomes the 17th inmate to be put to death this year in the USA and the 1,557th overall since the nation resumed executions on January 17, 1977. (Source: