Court docket declines to dam execution of Missouri man who says his conviction was tainted by racial bias


The Supreme Court docket on Wednesday declined to dam the execution of Kevin Johnson, who’s scheduled to die by deadly injection in Missouri on Nov. 29.

There have been no recorded dissents from the courtroom’s brief order.

Johnson was convicted and acquired the demise penalty for the 2005 taking pictures demise of William McEntee, a police officer. Johnson got here to the Supreme Court docket on Nov. 10, asking the justices to place his execution on maintain to present the justices time to think about his challenges to the constitutionality of his conviction and sentence. At Johnson’s first trial, two white jurors who made racist statements refused to affix the remainder of the jury in voting to convict Johnson – who’s Black – of second-degree homicide, which might not have carried the demise penalty. Johnson argued that his second trial, at which he was convicted of first-degree homicide and sentenced to demise, didn’t repair the constitutional violation at his first trial.

Johnson additionally argued that he shouldn’t be executed as a result of he was solely 19 on the time of the crime and suffered from extreme psychological sickness. The Supreme Court docket held in Roper v. Simmons that the execution of defendants who had been beneath the age of 18 after they dedicated their crimes violates the eighth Modification’s ban on merciless and weird punishment. Johnson urged the justices to increase that rule to defendants beneath the age of 21, contending that (amongst different issues) scientists now consider that the human mind is just not totally mature till after 21.

The state countered that Johnson’s first trial was the “‘basic instance’ of a correctly declared mistrial.” Any issues in that trial, the state contended, had been remedied along with his second trial. Nothing has occurred since Roper, the state continued, to require an enlargement of that call to cowl defendants who had been beneath the age of 21 on the time of their crime. And in any occasion, the state concluded, Johnson waited too lengthy to carry his claims.

This text was originally published at Howe on the Court.