The 19-year-old daughter of a Missouri death row inmate has been told she can't witness her father's execution because she's not yet 21.
Khorry Ramey's father, Kevin Johnson, is scheduled for execution by lethal injection on Tuesday for the 2005 killing of a Missouri police officer, though appeals are still in play to halt it. While his guilt isn't in question, defense attorneys allege that racism played a role in the severity of the punishment. They also argue that Johnson's mental state and age at the time of the crime should have been taken into account.
Kirkwood, Mo., Police Officer William McEntee was one of three officers sent to pick up a then-19-year-old Johnson back in 2005 on suspicion of parole violation. When they banged on the door, Johnson woke his younger brother, who ran next door to their grandmother's house for safety.
The 12-year-old brother, Joseph Long, collapsed at the house and had a seizure, then later died. He had a congenital heart condition.
Johnson watched as McEntee physically restrained their mother so she couldn't aid the boy. Blaming McEntee for his brother's death, an enraged Johnson shot the officer later that night.
Despite an emergency motion filed by the American Civil Liberties Union advocating for Ramey to be able to witness her 37-year-old father's death, U.S. District Judge Brian Wimes ruled late Friday that Ramey's constitutional rights would not be violated by the state law that prohibits anyone under age 21 from witnessing an execution.
"I'm heartbroken that I won't be able to be with my dad in his last moments," Ramey said in a statement. "My dad is the most important person in my life. He has been there for me my whole life, even though he's been incarcerated."
With News Wire Services