Johnny Johnson’s #ClemencyVideo: A Cry for Mercy for a Man with Serious Mental Illness
On July 21, 2023, a nine-minute clemency video was launched by the attorneys of Johnny Johnson, shining a spotlight on his history and current condition. The video titled "A Stark Example of a Person Suffering from a Serious Mental Illness" features the testimonials of Dr. Angeline Stanislaus, M.D., and Dr. Alwyn Whitehead, PsyD, both of whom have spent nearly two decades treating Johnny. Their shared expertise and insights shed light on the tragic reality of Johnny's life and his impending execution in the state of Missouri.
There is no doubt or dispute about the accuracy of Johnny's diagnosis of schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. Over the years, Johnny has experienced a series of psychotic breaks that have left him grappling with hallucinations and voices commanding him to harm himself and telling him that someone is out to get him. The video presents a deeply unsettling portrait of a person who should have never been eligible for a death sentence at the time of the trial.
In recent years and months, Johnny's mental health has noticeably worsened, as noted by his doctors and family members. The video includes statements from individuals close to Johnny, describing his history of psychiatric hospitalization and the troubling signs of his recent decline. His delusions have become increasingly alarming, including a belief that the state of Missouri is being used by Satan to bring about the end of the world through his execution.
Dr. Stanislaus and Dr. Whitehead both assert that Johnny Johnson does not possess a rational understanding of the link between his crime and the punishment he faces. Based on the definition set forth by the Supreme Court, Johnny is legally incompetent to be executed, as he lacks the ability to grasp the implications of his impending execution. The plea for clemency is not an attempt to absolve him of his actions but rather a call for mercy and recognition of his debilitating mental state.
The video concludes with a call to action, urging viewers to contact Governor Parson and urge him to grant #ClemencyForJohnny. Public support and awareness could play a crucial role and we need your help!
Johnny Johnson's case represents a stark reminder of the importance of recognizing and addressing mental health issues outside of the criminal justice system. It highlights the vulnerability of individuals suffering from severe mental illnesses and raises questions about the fairness and morality of executing someone whose mental capacity is compromised.
As a society, we must strive to be more compassionate and empathetic towards those struggling with serious mental illness. The call for clemency is not just about one man's fate; it is a reflection of our collective commitment to human dignity and our understanding of the complexities of mental illness.
By sharing and watching the video, we can amplify the call for clemency and join the fight for a more compassionate and just society for all.