BREAKING NEWS – Court lifts stay on Johnson’s execution – Executed 2:55 a.m


SMYRNA, Del. — A convicted Delaware killer who waived his right to further appeals and sought to speed his execution was put to death by lethal injection early Friday after a flurry of court filings spurred by federal public defenders seeking to spare his life.

Shannon Johnson was pronounced dead at 2:55 a.m., just minutes before the 3 a.m. deadline for his execution.
Johnson’s last meal was chicken lo mein, carrots, cake, wheat bread and iced tea – the same meal that all other prisoners had – he did not have a special request.
According to a Department of Corrections spokesman, Johnson spent his last few days sleeping, eating, reading, writing letters, watching TV, and speaking with his attorney.
Johnson was already strapped to a gurney when witness were led into the execution chamber.
 
“Loyalty is important. Without loyalty you have nothing. Death before dishonor,” he said when asked by the prison warden if he had a final statement. Johnson then uttered a few words in Arabic before he closed his eyes and the first of three chemicals began flowing through his veins.
As the sedative pentobarbital was administered, Johnson’s breathing became labored and his chest heaved several times. A few seconds later, he was motionless and showed no more signs of movement. The entire process took less than 15 minutes.

source : http://www.delawareonline.com

WILMINGTON — The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the stay on Shannon Johnson’s execution tonight, clearing the way for the lethal injection to take place between midnight and 3 a.m.

The three-judge panel, in a decision handed down just after 5 p.m., wrote that the fact that Johnson himself joined in the appeal filed by Delaware prosecutors seeking to lift the hold on the execution “speaks volumes about the case.”

“From the time of Johnson’s penalty phase to this very day, Johnson has consistently indicated his wish to proceed with his state-ordered execution,” wrote Judge Thomas Hardiman on behalf of the panel.

“[Johnson] has informed every court he has been before and every lawyer involved in his proceedings that he wishes to waive all further … challenges and proceed to execution,” Hardiman wrote.

It is possible the Delaware Federal Defender’s Office – which won a stay from U.S. Chief District Judge Gregory M. Sleet on Wednesday — may now turn to the U.S. Supreme Court to step in and re-impose the stay. Federal defenders, however, were not immediately available for comment.

Johnson’s attorney, Jennifer-Kate Aaronson, said her client, was “very pleased with the ruling and hopes there are no further appeals.”

The Delaware Attorney General’s Office declined comment on the ruling.

Department of Correction officials had been proceeding as if the execution were going to happen tonight and indicated it will go forward as scheduled between midnight and 3 a.m.

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