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Murderer Who Contracted Covid-19 Executed After Long Legal Battle

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Murderer Who Contracted Covid-19 Executed After Long Legal Battle

A murder who contracted Covid-19 has been executed after a long legal battle.

Corey Johnson was convicted of killing seven people in connection with a drug-trafficking ring in 1992.

He was executed by lethal injection at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana, after the Supreme Court denied a last gasp effort to overturn the execution on the grounds of the 52-year-old's Covid-19 diagnosis and intellectual disability.

He was pronounced dead at 11:34 p.m. ET yesterday (Thursday).

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Johnson was executed after a long legal battle. Credit: United States Penitentiary
Johnson was executed after a long legal battle. Credit: United States Penitentiary

In his final statement, Johnson said: "I would have said I was sorry before, but I didn't know how. I hope you will find peace.

"To my family, I have always loved you, and your love has made me real. On the streets, I was looking for shortcuts, I had some good role models, I was side tracking, I was blind and stupid. I am not the same man that I was."

He added that his last meal of pizza and a strawberry milkshake was 'wonderful', though he said he didn't get the jelly-filled donuts that he ordered.

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Donald Salzman, an attorney for Johnson, said earlier in the day that there was 'no principled reason' to execute him.

According to CNN, Salzman said: "The government must stop trying to execute Corey Johnson while he is still recovering from the COVID-19 infection he contracted as a result of the government's own irresponsibility in carrying out executions during the pandemic.

"There is no principled reason not to wait until the injunction expires in March to assess whether Mr Johnson's lungs have healed sufficiently that he will not suffer excruciating pain during an execution.

"He is a person with intellectual disability who cannot constitutionally be executed.

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"The government should withdraw Corey's execution date, or President Trump should grant him clemency."

People protested against the death penalty near the correctional complex. Credit: PA
People protested against the death penalty near the correctional complex. Credit: PA

Speaking after Johnson's execution, his attorneys reiterated their view that he should not have received the death penalty.

In a statement, they said: "We loved Corey Johnson, and we knew him as a gentle soul who never broke a rule in prison and kept trying, despite his limitations, to pass the GED (General Educational Development test). His family and loved ones are in our hearts.

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"We wish also to say that the fact Corey Johnson should never have been executed cannot diminish the pain and loss experienced by the families of the victims in this case. We wish them peace and healing."

It comes after the only woman on death row in the US, Lisa Montgomery, was executed on Wednesday.

The Trump administration resumed federal executions in 2020, and for the first time in US history, the federal government executed more people in one year than all of the states combined.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: US News, crime

Jake Massey
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