In the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri Central Division, a federal judge denied the motion for 19-year-old Corionsa, aka Khorry, Ramey to attend the scheduled execution of her father, Kevin Johnson, Jr.
On Ramey’s behalf, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit requesting her to be present at his execution. At issue, however, is the fact that no person under twenty-one years of age is permitted to witness the execution.
“I’m heartbroken that I won’t be able to be with my dad in his last moments,” according to Ramey, in a statement from the ACLU. “My dad is the most important person in my life. He has been there for me my whole life, even though he’s been incarcerated. He is a good father, the only parent I have left. He has worked very hard to rehabilitate himself in prison. I pray that Governor Parson will give my dad clemency.”
According to the complaint, Johnson notified prison officials that he selected his daughter as one of the selected people to be present at his execution. That request was denied by Missouri Department of Corrections officials due to her being under 21. She sought declaratory judgement on the basis that her constitutional rights were violated, citing the First and the Fourteenth Amendments, in addition to a temporary restraining order staying the execution.
In the order, U.S. District Judge Brian Wimes wrote that while “the Court does not discount [Ms. Ramey’s] allegations of emotional harm and does not dispute they are irreparable, both in a personal sense and a legal sense” if she were not able to witness the execution, he concluded that the state’s law does not violate Ms. Ramey’s constitutional rights.