The Latest: Lawyer believes Tennessee inmate suffered
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Latest on the scheduled execution of a Tennessee man who suffocated his wife (all times local):
A lawyer for a Tennessee inmate who was executed by lethal injection says she believes he suffered excruciating pain during the process.
Kelley Henry said after the execution Thursday night that restraints and a partially blocked view of 68-year-old Don Johnson prevented her from seeing whether he was displaying signs of consciousness.
But Henry said she believes the gurgling, gasping noises he was making were an indication that he could feel the pain of the three drugs. Henry said she believes Johnson would have felt like he was drowning, being buried alive and then burned.
Johnson was executed for suffocating his wife in 1984.
Department of Correction spokeswoman Neysa Taylor read a statement from Connie Johnson’s sister, Margaret Davis, calling for changes in the criminal justice system because of appeals that delayed the death sentence. She said her sister’s death was “inhumane and indescribable.”
A Tennessee inmate uttered a long prayer asking for forgiveness as he prepared to be executed.
In his dying moments at a Nashville prison Thursday night, 68-year-old Don Johnson asked the warden if he could sing, and he sang two hymns. The last words observers could hear were “no more dying there.”
Johnson was executed for suffocating his wife in 1984 at a camping center he managed in Memphis.
Religious leaders had asked Gov. Bill Lee to spare Johnson’s life, but the governor declined to intervene. Supporters of clemency said Johnson had undergone a religious conversion and cited his Christian ministry to fellow inmates. Johnson was an ordained elder of the church in Nashville.
Tennessee has executed a man convicted of killing his wife decades ago at a camping center he managed in Memphis.
Sixty-eight-year-old inmate Don Johnson was pronounced dead at 7:37 p.m. Thursday following a lethal injection at a maximum-security prison in Nashville. He drew the death sentence for the 1984 suffocation death of his wife, Connie.
Johnson became the fourth person executed in Tennessee since August. The two inmates executed before him in Tennessee chose the electric chair, saying they believed it offered a quicker and less painful death than the state’s default method, a three-drug lethal injection.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee recently declined clemency requests for Johnson from religious leaders including the president of the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church, of which Johnson is a member.
The Nashville church where a Tennessee death row inmate is an ordained elder is honoring the man’s last wish by planning a community meal for the homeless.
Inmate Don Johnson’s attorneys say that rather than request a special last meal, he asked supporters to provide a meal to a homeless person. Johnson is scheduled to be executed Thursday evening for suffocating his wife in 1984 at a camping center he managed in Memphis.
Johnson’s wish was inspired by another death row inmate whose request to have a pizza delivered to a homeless person prompted people across the country to deliver pizzas to homeless shelters.
A vigil ahead of the inmate’s scheduled execution is planned at the Riverside Chapel Seventh-day Adventist Church. The church is collecting grocery gift cards for a meal for the homeless next week.
A man convicted of killing his wife decades ago at a camping center he managed in Memphis is set for execution in Tennessee.
Sixty-eight-year-old inmate Don Johnson is scheduled to receive a lethal injection Thursday evening for the 1984 suffocation death of his wife, Connie.
Johnson would be the fourth person executed in Tennessee since August, barring a last-minute stay. The last two inmates executed in Tennessee chose the electric chair, saying they believed it offered a quicker and less painful death than the state’s default method, a three-drug lethal injection.
Gov. Bill Lee declined clemency requests for Johnson from religious leaders including the president of the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church, of which Johnson is a member.
Alabama is also scheduled to carry out a lethal injection Thursday evening .