Countdown for KJ
Every day is a day closer to state violence of killing #KevinJohnson on Nov 29th.
CLEMENCY FOR KJ
Kevin “KJ” Johnson, a Black youth, was sentenced to death for the killing of a white police officer, a crime committed as a 19-year-old traumatized teen, who had suffered from abuse, violence, and neglect his entire life, then grieving the sudden and tragic death of his 12-year-old brother just hours before. Despite many erroneous and unfair court rulings, grossly ineffective counsel, and racist prosecutorial policies, KJ remains on Missouri’s death row.
On August 25th, The Missouri Supreme Court set Kevin's execution date to be November 29th, 2022.
We need your support to uplift Kevin, his family, and his community. Partner with us today by signing the clemency petition and learn more below.
On the evening of July 5, 2005, Kirkwood police sought to serve a warrant at a family residence in Meacham Park. Kevin wasn’t there but observed the events from a neighboring home. While the police were present, Joseph “Bam Bam” Long, Kevin’s twelve-year-old brother, suffered a seizure and collapsed. The police were indifferent to the medical emergency, saying it was necessary to search the house.
Witnesses attest that police officer William McEntee held back Joseph’s mother from attending to her child. An ambulance later arrived, and Joseph was taken to the hospital, where he died.
Two hours later, McEntee responded to a report of fireworks in the neighborhood, and a chance encounter with Kevin ensued. Kevin said, “you killed my brother,” before shooting McEntee multiple times.
The first trial. Robert P. McCulloch, the Prosecuting Attorney of St. Louis County personally tried the case; an unusual move thought to be motivated by the fact his own father was a police officer killed in the line of duty. McCulloch sought the death penalty in Kevin's case but was unable to even secure a conviction; the jury hung, favoring, 10-2, a lesser, non-capital, charge.
The second trial. In the second trial, the deck was stacked against Kevin from the outset. McCulloch used his peremptory strikes to eliminate Black jurors and ensure a predominately white jury. Despite being a clear Batson violation, objections by counsel were ignored by the judge. This time McColloch got his capital conviction; and again, the system failed Kevin. His court appointed lawyers failed to put before the jury substantial evidence that would have mitigated the crime.
The appeals. The constitution guarantees equal justice, but state prosecutors have vigorously and unabashedly defended McCulloch’s successful effort to eliminate Black peoples from Kevin’s jury. The federal judiciary, which has a duty to enforce the constitution, has displayed a chilling indifference to the unfairness perpetrated in state court, first by assigning a biased judge and then denying Kevin even the right to appeal his claims to the Court of Appeals.
Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty is committed to uplifting the humanity, life, and need of compassion, support, and empathy for Kevin, who has family, friends, and supporters who love and value him.
November 3, 2022-
August 22, 2022-
July 11, 2022 -
July 11, 2022 -
February 21, 2022 -
February 9, 2022 -
March 1, 2019 -
August 20, 2016 -