Corey Johnson was executed on Thursday, despite his lawyers warning a Covid-19 infection would have made his lethal injection excruciatingly painful (Picture: Attorneys for Corey Johnson)
Applause and whistling rang out as a mass killer with coronavirus was executed, despite his lawyers warning he faced an ‘excruciatingly painful’ death.
Corey Johnson, 52, died by lethal injection at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana, on Thursday night, with relatives of the seven people he murdered unable to contain their delight as he died.
Johnson said ‘Love you,’ to members of his family when asked if he had any last words. He then hailed the ‘wonderful’ pizza and strawberry milkshake he ate as his last meal, but complained that he hadn’t received an order of doughnuts he’d also requested.
Johnson – a former drug trafficker who killed seven over a short period of time in Richmond, Virginia, during 1992 – said: ‘This should be fixed.’ The killer, who was condemned to die in 1993, also apologized for his crimes, saying: ‘I want to say that I am sorry for my crimes.
Anti-capital punishment protesters held placards outside the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana, hours before Johnson’s death on Thursday night (Picture: AP)
‘I wanted to say that to the families who were victimized by my actions.’ The mass murderer also called for his victims’ names to be remembered.
Moments later, two IV drips began pumping a pentobarbital solution into Johnson’s arms. His eyelids were seen to suddenly close, with the killer trying unsuccessfully to speak for several minutes, until his mouth fell agape.
He took 20 minutes to die. Lawyers for Johnson say he would have suffered an unconstitutionally painful death from the injection after Covid ravaged his lungs, and likened the sensation he would have endured to that of drowning.
They had previously argued that their client was mentally-disabled, and unsuccessfully appealed to have his sentence commuted to life behind bars.
Johnson was executed at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana (File photo/AP)
And despite Johnson’s relatively calm demeanor as he died, medics say the pentobarbital solution can paralyze people, masking the pain they may be enduring during their final moments.
Johnson is the 12th death row inmate to be executed since President Trump ordered federal executions to resume last year after a 17 year hiatus. Any executions that took place in the interim were carried out by individual states.
President-elect Joe Biden, who takes office next Wednesday, is anti-capital punishment, and has vowed to call a halt to the executions.
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