Khorry Ramey, 19, also witnessed Kevin Johnson’s execution: judge

A 19-year-old woman is too young to see Missouri state execute her father, who was sentenced to death as a teenager for killing a police officer, a federal judge ruled.

Khorry Ramey asked to be present for Kevin Johnson’s final moments, but US District Judge Brian Wimes, in a ruling, said witnesses to executions must be at least 21 years old, NBC News reported.

Missouri and Nevada are the only states that require witnesses to be 21, Ramey’s attorneys argued.

“I’m heartbroken not to be with my father in his final moments,” Ramey said in a statement, adding that he’s “worked very hard to redeem himself in prison. I pray that [Gov. Mike] Parson will show mercy to my father.”

Johnson, now 37, is scheduled to die by lethal injection on November 29 for killing Kirkwood Police Officer William McEntee in 2005, a crime he committed when he was 19 and Ramey was 2.

He selected his daughter as one of five people to witness his death, but the Missouri Department of Justice denied the request, a move the ACLU says violates both the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

“Missouri executes people like Mr. Johnson for crimes committed as adults but before their 21st birthday, demonstrating the unreasonableness of the legal requirement that witnesses to executions not only be adults but also be at least 21 years of age,” it says in the file.

Missing her father’s execution will cause Ramey “irreparable harm,” her lawyers said.

A federal judge has ruled that Khorry Ramey, 19, is too young to witness the execution of her father, Kevin Johnson.
Kevin Johnson with his daughter Khorry Ramey and their son Kiaus.
via ACLU

In a court statement earlier this week, Ramey called Johnson “the most important person in my life.”

Ramey and Johnson have a very close relationship and he is her only surviving parent, the ACLU said. She witnessed her mother’s murder at the hands of an ex-boyfriend when she was just 4 years old.

With his execution date approaching, Johnson’s lawyers are appealing to save his life. They admit Johnson’s guilt but argue that a history of mental illness and his age at the time of the crime should warrant judicial intervention. They also allege racism played a role in his death penalty conviction — Johnson is black and McEntee was white.

McEntee came to Johnson’s home in 2005 to serve an arrest warrant for Johnson, who police believed had violated the parole he was on by assaulting his girlfriend.

When McEntee showed up at the house, Johnson’s younger brother, Joseph “Bam Bam” Long, 12, ran next to their grandmother’s house, where he collapsed and had a seizure.

Johnson testified that McEntee stopped the boys’ mother from going inside the house to help the boy who was touching. Joseph later died in a hospital.

Later that evening, when Johnson saw McEntee in the neighborhood, he approached the officer and shot him twice.

“The surviving victims of Johnson’s crimes have waited long enough for justice, and every day they wait is a day denied their chance to finally make peace with their loss,” a state official said Petition filed last week by the Missouri Attorney General’s Office of the Supreme Court.

With post wires Khorry Ramey, 19, also witnessed Kevin Johnson’s execution: judge


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