Oct 5, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Missouri executes man with intellectual disabilities

Ernest Johnson, who was executed in Missouri despite his intellectual difficulties

Photo: Missouri Department of Corrections

A Missouri man with intellectual disabilities was executed Tuesday for killing three people during a 1994 robbery at a convenience store, per the New York Times.

Why it matters: Pope Francis, lawmakers and activists called for Ernest Lee Johnson's life to be spared because of his low IQ showing he had the intellectual capacity of a child.

  • He was born with fetal alcohol syndrome and lost roughly 20% of his brain tissue after a benign tumor was removed in 2008.

The big picture: Missouri Gov. Mike Parson declined to grant clemency earlier Tuesday and he was executed by lethal injection at the state prison in Bonne Terre on Tuesday.

  • He was pronounced dead at 6:11pm local time.
  • It was the first execution in Missouri since May 2020, AP notes.
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