[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----ALABAMA
rhalperi at smu.edu
Wed Oct 19 09:27:05 CDT 2011
Baby killer set to die
A man who begged for death after admitting to killing his 6-month-old son will
get his wish Thursday evening.
Christopher Thomas Johnson is scheduled to be executed at 6 p.m. Thursday at
Holman Prison in Atmore. He was convicted in 2006 of beating to death his
6-month-old son, Elias Ocean Johnson.
During Johnson’s trial he chose to fire his public defenders and represent
himself during the last day of the trial. He contended that they did not tell
him he could be convicted of manslaughter — he wanted to be executed instead.
After taking the stand on the final day, Johnson confessed to the crime that
left the infant boy dead.
Before Johnson’s testimony, a forensic pathologist testified that Elias died of
blunt force trauma, and that the baby had at least 85 injuries. She also said
the child had blood in its stomach and lungs.
Johnson testified that he killed his son because he hated his wife, Dana
Johnson. After a 15-minute confession, Johnson was convicted on capital murder
charges by the jury. Following the conviction, Johnson told the judge and jury
that he wanted to die.
After the jury recommended the death sentence, the judge agreed to their
recommendation and sentenced Johnson to death.
During his time in prison, Johnson refused to appeal his conviction. The case
has been reviewed by the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals, which upheld the
court’s decision by vote of 5-0.
Inmates typically have the right to appeal death sentences until the hour of
the execution. However, Brian Corbett with the Alabama Department of
Corrections said if Johnson has missed necessary deadlines in the appeals
process, last-minute appeals would not be possible.
Corbett said Johnson will spend the next 2 days at Holman Prison with extended
visiting privileges until Thursday.
“Generally speaking, he has the opportunity for extended visitation from around
9 a.m. until about 4 p.m.,” Corbett said. “Then he will be moved back into a
cell adjacent to the lethal injection chamber.”
(source: Brewton Standard)
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