Kevin Johnson, who was convicted in 2005 for the killing of a police officer, is scheduled to be executed on Tuesday, November 29.
His lawyers have filed appeals to obtain a stay in his execution. But in the meantime, he is currently seeking permission to allow his 19-year-old daughter to be at his side if he is given the lethal injection. Johnson’s daughter, Khorra Ramey, says she wants to honor her father’s request.
But, a Missouri law currently blocks all people under the age of 21 from witnessing an execution.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed an emergency motion, stating that the Missouri law is violating Ramey’s equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment and her freedom of association under the First Amendment.
‘If my father were dying in the hospital, I would sit by his bed holding his hand and praying for him until his death, both as a source of support for him, and as a support for me as a necessary part of my grieving process and for my peace of mind,’ Ramey said.
Ramey, who was only 2-years-old when her father was convicted, began a relationship with him ‘personal visits, letters, emails, phone calls,’ the ACLU said. Recently, Ramey introduced her father to her own son, Kaius.
The Missouri Supreme Court on Wednesday set an execution date for Kevin Johnson, who, at 19 years old, shot and killed a Kirkwood police officer in 2005. His execution is set for November 29.
‘My father has been the only parent for almost all of my life, and he is the most important person in my life,’ Ramey stated to the court.
According to the ACLU, Johnson also took an active role in Ramey’s education,
Ramey graduated from high school in 2020 and is currently pursuing a career in nursing.
Advocates also noted that Johnson himself was only 19 when he wags sentenced to death. ‘Logic escapes me in trying to understand how a person can receive the death penalty at 19, a person can receive a life sentence in prison at 19, and a person can even be hired as a prison guard with the Missouri Department of Correction at 19; yet a person cannot witness an execution at 19,’ said Michelle Smith, the co-director of Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.