A 19-year-old Missouri teen requested a federal court to allow her to be at her father’s execution, even though the state forbids those under 21 from watching an inmate’s death by injection.
According to the Associated Press, Kevin Johnson was sentenced to death after killing a white Missouri officer named William McEntee in 2005. His execution date is set for Nov. 29.
Johnson’s daughter, Khorry Ramey, wants nothing more than to be by her father’s side when he takes his last breath.
“If my father were dying in the hospital, I would sit by his bed holding his hand and praying for him until his death, both as a source of support for him and as a support for me– as a necessary part of my grieving process and for my peace of mind,” Ramey said, calling her father the “most important person” in her life.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed an emergency motion with a Kansas City federal court, arguing that the law prohibiting Ramey from being with her father because of her age violated her rights and didn’t protect her from anything.
Those under 21 aren’t allowed because of the possibility that the sight would be harmful, yet the ACLU stated that denying Ramey’s request would cause “irreparable harm.”
Johnson was imprisoned when Ramey was two years old, and their father-daughter relationship grew through phone calls, visits, letters and emails. She even brought her newborn son to the prison so he and his grandfather could meet.
Johnson’s lawyers had attempted to appeal the death sentence and get it changed to life by stating that Johnson was 19 when he committed his crime and has a history of mental illness. However, that wasn’t enough.
“The surviving victims of Johson’s crimes have waited long enough for justice, and every day longer that they must wait is a day they are denied the chance to finally make peace with their loss,” the state argued.
During his 2007 trial, St. Louis County Circuit Court’s appointed prosecutor Edward Kennan found evidence of “unconstitutional racial discrimination” and filed a motion to push aside Johnson’s judgment on Nov. 15, which was denied.
Along with other officers, McEntee was sent to Johnson’s house on July 5, 2005. Johnson was on probation for abusing his girlfriend, and the cops believed he violated his probation.
When he saw the police outside his house for him, he woke up his 12-year-old brother, Joseph “Bam Bam” Long. Long ran next door to their grandmother’s but suffered from a seizure on the way there because of his congenital heart defect. Long died in the hospital later that day, and Johnson claimed that officer McEntee barred his mother from aiding his younger brother.
In the evening of the same day, Johnson murdered McEntee after he returned to the same neighborhood because of reports about fireworks.
It has been three months since Missouri had an execution. Johnson’s would be their first. Many people, including politicians, have been calling for the courts to grant clemency to Johnson.
— Congresswoman Cori Bush (@RepCori) November 22, 2022
On Sept. 9th, 2022 Khorry gave birth to #KevinJohnson’s only grandchild, a baby boy. Khorry needs her dad to support her while she grows into an amazing mom.
The loss of her only parent will leave her devastated #ClemencyForKhorrysDadhttps://t.co/yaqBc1IaS3 pic.twitter.com/vrAbqQ9Frl
— Quaker | Join/Start Mutual Aid Grps | Cancel Debt (@QkrSocialist) November 24, 2022
Please join us in protesting THIS scheduled execution! #KevinJohnson is the next man scheduled for execution in this country! Contact @GovParsonMO today to ask him to consider #ClemencyForKJ…tell him it’s the right thing to do! #MercyMatters #StopExecutionsMissouri pic.twitter.com/SP5ND1Btvg
— jessica (@jettica65) November 23, 2022
It will be a miscarriage of justice to execute Kevin Johnson. Read his story + TAKE ACTION: Ask Governor Parson #ClemencyForKJ (573) 751-3222 or email https://t.co/cb28u9iF3h Use toolkit from Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty: https://t.co/6Fcnfx5lDI @MADPMO pic.twitter.com/2vRqtfRdM4
— 💙💛 So Far Left I Might Be Right (@saudade70) November 23, 2022
We are solidly in the RED. In 4 days Missouri will murder a father, grandfather, beloved brother, and a person who experienced unimagined abuse & neglect as a child. #KevinJohnson deserves CLEMENCY, he deserves the same sentence as YT youth who did similar. He deserves fairness pic.twitter.com/uFMWtQXrbl
— Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (@MADPMO) November 25, 2022
The Missouri Supreme Court allowed for oral arguments for Keenan and Johnson’s most recent (Nov. 23) motion to delay the execution, which will take place the day before Johnson’s death date.