A death row inmate requested that his last meal be donated to the homeless.
Don Johnson, who was executed in Tennessee on Thursday, May 16, turned down his final meal – with the state’s Department of Corrections confirming the prisoner opted to choose food from the same menu given to all other prisoners at the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution.
Knowing the $20 sum which would have been spent on the meal wouldn’t feed many people – Johnson requested that his supporters from over the years donate a meal to a homeless person.
NO LAST MEAL REQUEST: Death row inmate, Don Johnson has chosen to forgo the selection of a last meal, the Dept. of Correction reports. He will be offered the same menu that’s served to other inmates at Riverbend. @WKRN pic.twitter.com/MoKAj4p4Rs
— Josh Breslow (@JoshBreslowWKRN) May 15, 2019
The former inmates Public Defender Kelley Henry told FOX 17 that Mr Johnson’s decision to skip the special meal was to encourage others to help support the homeless.
He told Nashville’s FOX 17:
Mr. Johnson realises 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.
Public Defender Henry continued to share that Mr Johnson’s decision was inspired by his friend, and former fellow death row inmate, Phillip Workman, who requested a vegetarian pizza be delivered to a homeless person in replacement of him receiving it.
However due to issues with logistics the request couldn’t be honoured.
Sentenced to death for suffocating his wife Connie Johnson at a holiday camping centre – the 68-year-old blamed the murder on a work-release inmate who admitted to helping dispose of his wife’s body.
The man in question was subsequently granted immunity for testifying again Johnson in court – leading to his conviction.
Following lethal injection at the Nashville prison, Johnson was pronounced dead at 7:37pm.
Join @ShaneClaiborne @RedLetterXians in calling Gov Bill Lee of Tennessee 615-741-2001 & ask him him to stop the execution of #DonJohnson, hours away. We're praying for Don who declined his last meal, asking that it be given to the hungry. "Choose life…" (Deuteronomy 30:19). pic.twitter.com/iRoCDjBakV
— Disciples of Christ ~ Northeastern Region (@NeDoCRegion) May 16, 2019
In the build up to his execution, the president of the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church – among several other religious leaders – urged Tennessee Governor Bill Lee to grant Johnson clemency.
Lee denied the request – sharing with Fox 17:
“After a prayerful and deliberate consideration of Don Johnson‘s request for clemency, and after a thorough review of the case, I am upholding the sentence of the State of Tennessee and will not be intervening.”
Prayerful and peaceful vigil to protest the execution of #DonJohnson at Riverbend Max. All are welcome. #DeathPenalty Action is LIVE on the scene with @ShaneClaiborne, @pagitt @noexceptionsTN @DeathPenaltyAct Please join & share!https://t.co/KXqvNC8pKx pic.twitter.com/MMNfi25NoG
— AI Delaware DPRepeal (@AIDEndDP) May 16, 2019
Following Johnson’s execution, a vigil to protest the states decision was held outside of the maximum security prison – with supporters wearing t-shirts brandishing the slogan ‘NO MORE KILLINGS!’.