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“Ernest is not competent or capable to receive the type of vengeance that the death penalty brings”

A petition seeking clemency for Ernest Johnson has been signed by over 23,000 people. Signatures were delivered to the office of Governor Mike Parson this past Wednesday, September 29th, after a rally which drew dozens to the Missouri Capitol including faith and civil rights leaders, disability rights activists, clinicians specialized in intellectual disability, Missouri constituents, and abolitionists.

Speakers at Wednesday’s rally spoke to the extent of Ernest Johnson’s intellectual disability, the unconstitutionality of executing those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, the moral and ethical standards by which our state government ought to be operating, and the historical ties the death penalty has to Missouri's lengthy history of racial terror lynchings, slavery, and jim crow segregation.

Prominent faith leaders including, Reverend Darryl Gray, Pastor Richard Jackson, Minister Carol Jackson and Rita Linhardt, called upon the Governor to temper justice with mercy. Reverend Darryl Gray of the Progressive National Baptist Convention and St. Louis Clergy Coalition, said killing Johnson would be wrong. “Ernest is not competent or capable to receive the type of vengeance that the death penalty brings,” Gray said. “We appeal to the governor to look at the facts.”

We urge you to continue to take action for Ernest Johnson by writing to the Governor, and then ask someone you know,

“How is this the land of liberty and justice if we are still executing people?” - Wajeeh Lion, International Human Rights Activist and MADP Board Member


Photo: Rev. Darryl Gray speaking at the Petition Drop for Ernest Johnson at the Missouri State Capitol, September 29th, 2021. Photo Credit: Philip Deitch.

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