An intellectually disabled black man who was convicted for murdering three gas station attendants with a claw hammer and a screwdriver in 1994 has been executed via lethal injection on Tuesday, Oct. 5, in Missouri.

Ernest Lee Johnson, 61 years old, was executed on Tuesday via lethal injection, in spite of attempts by civil rights groups, his lawyers, and the Pope to grant clemency to the convicted felon and stop his execution, according to the Daily Beast.

Johnson was jailed for the murder of three gas station attendants in 1994. He had a history of learning and intellectual disabilities: his IQ was scored at 67, and he dropped out of school in the ninth grade, according to Gulf News.

“Killing those who lack the intellectual ability to conform their behavior to the law is morally and legally unconscionable,” Missouri representatives Cori Bush and Emanuel Cleaver said. “Like slavery and lynching did before it, the death penalty perpetuates cycles of trauma, violence and state-sanctioned murder in Black and brown communities.”

“[His] Holiness wishes to place before you the simple fact of Mr. Johnson's humanity and the sacredness of all human life,” the Vatican said in a statement.

A writ of certiorari, or a full review of his case, was denied by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on Tuesday, and Johnson was executed on that very evening.

He was injected with pentobarbital and mouthed “I love you” to his family members before his breathing became labored and he appeared to go to sleep. He previously petitioned to be executed by a firing squad, but this request was denied.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson has denied giving clemency to Johnson, saying that a jury and judges rejected Johnson’s case for clemency six times and he has been found guilty of the crime. But many in Missouri disagree with Parson’s statement.

“In Missouri, there’s a different standard when it’s come to Mr. Ernest Johnson,” NAACP Director Nimrod Chapel said to the press. “And I think that there are multiple backers that have come into play in that regard. It is his race, his subject property, you know his intellectual disability.”

Ernest Lee Johnson, who murdered three people in 1994, has been executed by the state of Missouri after the Supreme Court rejected a review of his case. Missouri Department of Corrections

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