A 19-year-old Missouri woman will not be allowed to witness her father’s execution following a judge’s decision on Friday.
Kevin Johnson will face execution on November 29 for the 2005 murder of Missouri police officer William McEntee Kirkwood. Johnson requested that his daughter, Khori Ramey, attend the execution.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed an emergency motion in Kansas City federal court, saying that preventing anyone under the age of 21 from watching the execution in Missouri serves no security purpose and infringes on Ramey’s constitutional rights. violates.
On Friday, US District Judge Brian Vimes ruled that the state law is constitutional, saying “it is in the public interest to allow states to enforce their laws and administer state prisons without court interference.” “
Johnson, 37, has been in prison since Ramey was 2 years old. The two formed a bond through phone calls, visits, letters and emails. Remy brought her newborn son to the prison last month to visit his grandfather.
“I’m a son who needs a father and I’m a daughter who needs a father,” Rami said, according to CBS affiliate KMOV.
McEntee, a husband and father of three children,Johnson was on probation for assaulting his girlfriend, and police believed he had violated his probation.
Johnson saw officers arrive and woke up his 12-year-old brother, Joseph “Bum Bum” Long, who had fled to his grandmother’s house next door. Once there, the boy, who was suffering from a congenital heart defect, collapsed and had a seizure.
Johnson testified at the trial that McEntee barred her mother from entering the home to assist her brother, who died a short time later in hospital.
Later that evening, McEntee returned to the neighborhood to investigate unrelated reports of firecrackers being shot. That’s when he encountered Johnson.
Johnson pulled out a gun and shot the officer. He then went to the wounded officer on his knees and shot him again, killing him.
Johnson’s attorneys have filed an appeal to stay the execution. They do not challenge his guilt, but claim that racism played a role in the decision to seek the death penalty and in the jury’s decision to sentence him to death. Johnson is black and McEntee was white.
The execution will be the first of three in the coming months in Missouri. The state plans to execute convicted murderers Scott McLaughlin on January 3 and Leonard Taylor on February 7.
Missouri currently has 20 inmates on death row.