Tennessee death row inmate Donnie Johnson did something atrocious in his 30s.
It gives me the heebie jeebies just typing it–In 1984, Johnson suffocated his wife, Connie, by sticking a 30-gallon trash bag down her throat at a camping center he managed in Memphis. According to US News, he initially blamed the murder on a work-release inmate who confessed to helping dispose of the body and who eventually granted immunity for testifying against Johnson.
He has spent the last 35 years at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution, waiting to die via lethal injection, which will be carried out Thursday evening.
Johnson, who has eaten nothing but vile prison food for over three decades, has an opportunity to go wild with his last meal before he’s executed–within the confines of a $20 limit. He has passed on a meal from the outside and instead urged his supporters to donate meals to the homeless. He will be eating what the general population gets.
BREAKING: Tennessee Dept. of Correction says Donnie Johnson has opted to forgo the selection of a last meal. He will be offered the same meal that is served to other inmates at Riverbend tomorrow evening before his execution. @NC5 pic.twitter.com/gIB3y82JnM
— Jason Lamb (@JasonLambNC5) May 15, 2019
[RELATED: This Death Row Inmate’s 5,000 Calorie Last Meal Request Will Actually Make You Kind Of Jealous]
Federal public defender Kelley Henry said in an email to the Tennessean:
“Mr. Johnson realizes that his $20 allotment will not feed many homeless people. His request is that those who have supported him provide a meal to a homeless person.”
Johnson and his legal team reportedly pleaded with Gov. Bill Lee to grant him mercy for his horrific crimes, pointing to the fact that he is completely reformed. Johnson became an elder in the Seventh-day Adventist Church on death row and leads prayer services for his fellow inmates.
Come tomorrow, the 68-year-old will be the fourth person executed in Tennessee since August. The last two inmates executed in Tennessee chose to die via electric chair, citing the controversial three-drug injection method used otherwise. It’s been argued that the sedative midazolam extends the dying process and brings with it excruciating pain.
Three more executions are scheduled this year in Tennessee.[h/t US News/ Tennessean]
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