Ernie Williamson, the father of Casey Williamson, a 6-year-old girl who was murdered in 2002, has submitted a clemency application to Missouri Governor Mike Parson, expressing his opposition to the execution of Johnny Johnson, Casey’s killer.
Johnson, diagnosed with schizophrenia at a young age, is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on August 1. In the application, Williamson states that executing Johnson will not bring closure because it cannot bring Casey back.
Johnson’s attorneys argue that their client was in the grips of active psychosis at the time of the murder and continues to suffer from mental health issues. They assert that Johnson believes his impending execution is a result of Satan using the State of Missouri to bring about the end of the world.
Governor Parson has been reluctant to grant clemency to death row inmates facing execution, with three individuals executed recently after unsuccessful clemency applications. However, the application for Johnson will be reviewed before the scheduled execution date.
Johnson’s attorneys note that Ernie Williamson, a deeply religious man, supports clemency and does not wish to cause further pain to the Johnson family. They also mention that a juror expressed support for clemency.
The tweet below verifies the news:
Ernie Williamson, whose 6-year-old daughter Casey was murdered in 2002 in Missouri, said executing Johnny Johnson on Aug. 1 will not bring closure “because it won’t bring Casey back,” according to a clemency application sent to Gov. Mike Parson.https://t.co/LW5qZIgmsT
— Katie Moore (@katie_reports) July 14, 2023
Advocacy group Missourians to Abolish the Death Penalty argues that executing Johnson is unnecessary and urges Governor Parson to commute his sentence to life without parole. The organization emphasizes principles of compassion, fairness, and respect for the inherent worth and dignity of every human being.
The clemency application provides details about Johnson’s history, including a brain disorder causing developmental delays and a history of mental health problems exacerbated by traumatic experiences, such as physical and sexual abuse.
Johnson has received psychiatric treatment throughout his life and experienced depression and auditory hallucinations. In 2002, he committed the heinous crime, bludgeoning Casey Williamson’s head with a brick and leaving her body in a nearby glass factory pit.
Questions have been raised about Johnson’s mental competency, with reports of self-harm, hearing voices, and exhibiting vampire-like behavior while incarcerated.
His attorneys argue that he lacks the necessary mental competency to be executed. In addition to the clemency application, a motion for a stay of execution is being considered in federal court, which is contested by the Missouri Attorney General’s Office.
Missouri has witnessed an increase in executions this year, with several individuals put to death. The case of Johnny Johnson continues to generate debate about the death penalty and mental health issues within the criminal justice system.
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