Not even the pope could save ‘intellectually disabled’ man from ...

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Not even the pope could save ‘intellectually disabled’ man from execution

The 61-year-old has been lethally injected for murder, despite calls for clemency from Pope Francis and US politicians

Jonathan Allen

Missouri executed convicted murderer Ernest Johnson on Tuesday evening after governor Mike Parson and the US Supreme Court declined to grant the clemency sought by Pope Francis, among others, on the grounds Johnson was intellectually disabled.

Johnson, 61, was found guilty by a jury of murdering three convenience-store employees in 1994. He was injected with a lethal dose of pentobarbital, a powerful barbiturate, in the state’s execution chamber in the city of Bonne Terre.

His lawyers said there was overwhelming evidence of Johnson’s intellectual disability. They asked the court on Tuesday to halt the execution because executing intellectually disabled people breaches a constitutional ban on “cruel and unusual punishments”...

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