Friday, April 20, 2012

R.I.P. Shannon Johnson

Roman Colosseum lit to protest an execution
On April 20, 2012, Delaware executed Shannon Johnson for the murder of Cameron Hamlin in 2006.  Johnson was permitted to waive his appeals, and thus was executed without full review of the fairness of his trial or the reliability of his death sentence.   

A district court judge had stayed the execution to consider arguments by the Federal Public Defender that Johnson was mentally incompetent to waive his appeals and that his sister should be allowed to argue the issue on his behalf.  Federal public defenders also argued that there was overwhelming evidence that Johnson suffered from an intellectual disability making him ineligible to be executed.  The court of appeals lifted the stay and Johnson was executed minutes before a 3:00 a.m. deadline. 

This was the 15th execution in the United States in 2012 and the first in Delaware.


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