The Supreme Court Jan. 14 cleared the path for the federal government to execute Corey Johnson after denying his two last-minute appeals.
The nation’s high court denied Johnson’s appeal for a postponement of his execution since he was suffering from COVID-19 and his appeal to seek a reduced sentence based on his intellectual ability under a 2018 prison-reform law.
Johnson, 52, was pronounced dead by lethal injection at 11:34 p.m. EST Jan. 14 at a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana. His was the 12th federal execution since last summer…
…In the hours prior to each federal execution since they resumed last summer, Catholic Mobilizing Network has been holding virtual prayer vigils. During the Jan. 14 vigil for Johnson, participants prayed that Johnson would feel God’s presence and they also prayed for his victims and their families.
Deacon Albert Anderson Jr. from St. Joseph Catholic Church in Alexandria, Virginia, gave a reflection during the Zoom prayer vigil that emphasized the harm caused by the death penalty.
“Killing the sinner doesn’t protect us from sin but draws us deeper into the cycle of death,” he said. He added that capital punishment does not bring healing to victims’ families.
The deacon said Johnson’s crime was horrible, but he also stressed that he is “made in the image of God” and like everyone, has the possibility of redemption.
“We are better than this; this must end,” he said of the nation’s use of the death penalty.
A statement by Virginia bishops Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington and Barry C. Knestout of Richmond also was read during the vigil. They thanked participants for their “commitment and courage.”