Appeals Court Sides with Death Row Inmate Ernest Lee Johnson
A man on Missouri death row for killing three convenience store workers in 1994 will get another chance to argue that a medical condition would make lethal injection too painful.
The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that a lower court mistakenly dismissed Ernest Lee Johnson’s appeal in September 2016. Johnson, who’s 58, argues that Missouri’s lethal injection drug, pentobarbital, could trigger seizures due to a brain condition. Johnson still has part of a benign tumor in his brain, and surgery to remove the rest of the tumor in 2008 forced removal of up to 20 percent of his brain tissue.
U.S. District Judge Greg Kays ruled in 2016 that Johnson hadn’t argued enough facts to have his case heard in full.