Johnson’s attorneys ask U.S. Supreme Court to stop Tuesday’s execution
COLUMBIA, Missouri (KMIZ)
Lawyers for a man sentenced to death on Tuesday for a triple murder in Columbia are appealing to the United States Supreme Court as his execution approaches.
Ernest Lee Johnson is due to be executed at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Bonne Terre State Prison. His lawyers, lawyers and death penalty opponents have argued for years that Johnson has an intellectual disability, making his execution unconstitutional.
Johnson’s lawyers reiterated those arguments in a brief filed Monday with the Supreme Court. They say Johnson’s intellectual disability is well established, that the courts that dismissed Johnson’s appeals have misapplied the case law, and that the Missouri jury’s instructions on intellectual disabilities are “flawed.”
“This is not a close affair,” the lawyers say in legal documents. âErnest Johnson is intellectually disabled. To allow the state of Missouri to execute Mr. Johnson undermines the authority of this Court and the precedent and would be a fundamental miscarriage of justice. “
Johnson was sentenced to death in 1995 after the 1994 murders of Mary Bratcher, Fred Jones and Mable Scruggs, employees of a Casey’s general store. Authorities say Johnson used a hammer and screwdriver in the brutal killings.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said Monday the state plans to move forward with plans to execute Johnson by lethal injection.
Johnson’s lawyers are asking the court to stay his execution while the courts reconsider the case.
Check back for updates to this developing story and watch ABC 17 News at 5 and 6.
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