Death Row killer’s daughter denied permission to watch his execution

A daughter who has been refused permission to witness her killer father's death row execution has admitted her heartbreak at not being able to witness his final moments.

Kevin Johnson, 37, who fatally shot a police officer in Missouri, US, in 2005 faces death by lethal injection next week.

His daughter, Corionsa Ramey, was just two-years old when he was detained over William McEntee's murder.

Ms Ramey, who is now 19, filed an emergency lawsuit via the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in a last ditch attempt to ask a federal court to allow her to be present.

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However, the request was thrown out as Missouri state law states that no person under the age of 21 can witness an execution.

ACLU, meanwhile, argued that the age threshold was unreasonable and violated Ms Ramey's constitutional rights.

In response, US district judge Brian Wimes ruled against the teen, citing it was is in the public interest to 'allow states to enforce their laws and administer state prisons without court intervention'.

The judge said in a written ruling that the lawsuit had failed to demonstrate "unconstitutionality".

A subsequent statement from Ms Ramey read: "I'm heartbroken that I won't be able to be with my dad in his last moments", adding that he had "worked very hard to rehabilitate himself in prison".

The ACLU hasn't given up hope of a compromise however, as it tweeted: "A federal judge has denied Ramey's request to witness her father Kevin Johnson's execution.

"There is no dignity in a state killing its residents – and the state of Missouri can still do right by Khorry if the governor grants her father clemency."

According to Sky News, Johnson's lawyer, Shawn Nolan, told reporters: "It's ironic that Kevin was 19 years old when he committed this crime and they still want to move forward with this execution, but they won't allow his daughter, who's 19 at this time, in because she's too young."

Legal representatives for Johnson have filed appeals seeking to halt the execution, claiming racism was a factor in both the decision to seek the death penalty and the jury's decision to sentence him to death.

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