A Missouri judge has denied a 19-year-old girl’s request to witness her father’s execution

NBC News reports that a man is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection in Missouri on Tuesday without his daughter present due to her age.

Kevin Johnson was sentenced to death for the murder of a Kirkwood police officer, in 2005. Johnson was 19 at the time of the crime, the same age as his daughter Khouri Rami is now.

“I feel sad that I will not be with my father in his last moments,” Ramy told NBC News. She said her father “worked so hard to rehabilitate himself in prison. I pray that [Governor Mike] Parson will grant my father pardon.”

Missouri law bars individuals under the age of 21 from attending executions. On behalf of Rami, the ACLU filed a lawsuit urging the state to allow Rami to attend her father’s execution.

Prosecutors argue that preventing Ramy from attending executions is unconstitutional and “demonstrates the irrationality” of sentencing someone to death before their 21st birthday while barring those under 21 from attending executions.

“I am the closest relative of my father, and he is mine, unlike my infant son,” Rami told the outlets. “If my father was dying in the hospital, I would stick to his side and hold his hand and pray until he passed.”

But the judge argued that the plaintiffs had not proven the law to be unconstitutional, thus banning Rami from attending the execution of her last living father.

“Ironically, Kevin was 19 years old when he committed this crime and they still want to go ahead with this execution, but they won’t allow his daughter who is 19 at this time because she’s so young,” Johnson’s attorney Sean Nolan told reporters Friday.

The Missouri Attorney General’s office says the execution should proceed because “surviving victims of Johnson’s crimes have waited long enough for justice to be served,” according to NBC News.

Johnson is scheduled to be executed on Tuesday. But because the special prosecutor argues there was “unconstitutional racial discrimination” in Johnson’s conviction, a hearing is scheduled for Monday that could block the execution.

Ramey’s attorney, Johnson’s attorney, the Missouri attorney general and the Missouri special prosecutor did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


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