© 2023 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

The execution of Ernest Johnson


The state of Missouri this week executed Ernest Johnson, 61, who was convicted of murdering three people in 1994. His attorneys argued he was ineligible for the death penalty because multiple IQ tests had shown he had the mental capacity of a child.

On Tuesday evening, Missouri executed Ernest Johnson, a 61-year-old man who was convicted of murdering three people in 1994. But many people — including Pope Francis, U.S. Representatives Cori Bush and Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri, and protestors across the state — said Johnson shouldn’t have been killed.

Missouri ranks fifth in the country for the number of people it’s put to death in the past 45 years. Jason Hancock, a reporter for the Missouri Independent, has covered this story and joins us to share what he learned about the case.

Contact the show at news@kcur.org. Follow KCUR onTwitter andFacebook for the latest news.

Kansas City Today is hosted by Nomin Ujiyediin. It is produced by Byron Love and edited by C.J. Janovy.

You can support Kansas City Today by becoming a KCUR member: kcur.org/donate

As a newscaster and a host of a daily news podcast, I want to deliver the most important and interesting news of the day in an engaging and easily understandable way. No matter where you live in the metro or what you’re interested in, I want you to learn something from each newscast or podcast – and maybe even give you something to talk about at the dinner table.
As an on-demand producer, I am focused on using my skills and experiences across multiple digital applications, platforms and media fields to create community focused audio, video and on-demand products for KCUR Studios. The media that I produce aims to inform, entertain and connect with the Kansas City metro area as we continue to learn from each other. Email me at byronlove@kcur.org.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and powerful storytelling.
Your donation helps make nonprofit journalism available for everyone.