A Missouri inmate awaiting execution next week says the way Missouri administers the lethal injection is cruel and unusual punishment. This comes from a man who beat his wife to death.
Timothy Johnston wants the state to delay his execution because he's afraid the three-drug combination used in Missouri's executions may cause him pain. He's afraid he'll suffocate instead of simply drifting off to his death.
So let's get some background on this expert in cruel and unusual punishment. Back in 1989 when police arrived at Johnston's home, the sidewalk and porch were bloody. Inside they found Johnston standing over his wife. She had a broken nose, collarbone and ribs; severe injuries to her head, face and scalp; and bruising and tearing in her liver, heart and spleen. Police say she remained alive through most of the beating. Her face and torso were swollen. She was declared dead at the scene.
Johnston at first blamed a motorcycle gang for the murder. He later confessed.
Now Johnston has a date with destiny on Aug. 31. But as that date nears, Johnston and his lawyers are trying every means available to spare his life. Let's hope they fail.
But this is not the first time Johnston's attorneys have gone to court to delay this upcoming date. A court years ago rejected the argument that Johnston was suffering from brain damage and therefore, not eligible for execution. They also rejected the argument that the murder was not premeditated. Since those failed, Johnston is now seeking his latest reprieve.
Johnston even wants a delay because he feels medical personnel, not Corrections Department officials, should administer the lethal injection.
Timothy Johnston needs to accept his fate. His lawyers have wasted far too much tax money trying to delay the inevitable. Their latest arguments are just one more insult. But come next week, there will be no more arguments. And no more Timothy Johnston.