They did not get a last-minute pardon: on the evening of Thursday 16th, two American prisoners were executed in two different states, bringing to seven the number of convicts executed in US prisons since the beginning of 2019. .
For one of the two men, no last minute decision was to wait, the governor of the state of Tennessee having already announced Tuesday 14 that it would not give favor to the prisoner. Donnie Edward Johnson, 68, was then executed for killing his wife in 1984. The one who was a young thirty years old at the time broke a plastic garbage bag in the unfortunate's throat. During the three decades he spent in prison, the man turned to religion and even became a representative of the Adventist Church to fellow inmates. Several religious representatives, including Catholic bishops, had requested that grace be granted, as well as the daughter of the victim. But it has not happened. According to local media reports, the convict did not symbolically take his last meal, instead asking his supporters to make donations to feed the homeless.
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In Alabama, another state in the southern United States is Michael Brandon Samra, 41, who was put to death in the evening. The man was found guilty of participating in a quadruple murder in 1997 when he was 19 years old. He had "helped" a friend, a certain Mark Duke, 16 years old at the time, who, furious that his father did not lend him his car, had planned the murder of his father, his girlfriend and the two little girls of the latter. The adults had been shot and the children slaughtered. The two had been sentenced to death, but Mark Duke, because of his young age at the time, had his sentence commuted to life imprisonment in 2005. It was not for Michael Samra even though his lawyers have tried to put forward this element as well as its "very limited intelligence" according to the very words of justice.
By 2018, 25 people had been executed in the United States. According to Amnesty International (see here), the country ranks far behind the five countries with the highest number of prisoners: China (at least 1,000 people), Iran (at least 253), Saudi Arabia (149), Vietnam (at least 85) and Iraq (at least 52).
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(tagsToTranslate) Death Penalty (t) Execution (t) Murder (t) Death Row