Updated: Wednesday, May 15, 2019  8:52 pm EDT

Donnie Johnson has been executed. Read more here.

Updated: Wednesday, May 15, 2019  5:36 pm EDT

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has refused to grant clemeny to Donnie Johnson. In his clemency appeal, Donnie asked that he be spared due to religious reasons and redemption instead of using legal arugments regarding his case.

Updated: Monday, May 13, 2019  9:30 am EDT

Donnie Edward Johnson is scheduled to be executed at 7:10 pm CDT, on Thursday, May 16, 2019, at the Riverbed Maximum Security Institute in Nashville, Tennessee. Sixty-eight-year-old Donnie is convicted of the murder of his wife, 30-year-old Connie Johnson, on December 8, 1984, in Memphis, Tennessee. Donnie has spent the last 34 years on Tennessee’s death row.


According to Donnie, he grew up in an abusive family and began his criminal career at the age of six or seven, stealing whatever he wanted. By the time he was a teenager, he had resorted to armed robbery. He was also involved in street drag racing. Donnie was married with two children. Donnie continued his criminal life, hiding it from his family, while maintaining a steady job as a salesman at a camping store.

On December 8, 1984, Donnie Johnson was working at Force Camping Sales in Memphis, Tennessee, along with Ronnie McCoy, who was signed out of a Penal Farm, where he was serving a four month sentence for false reporting. Johnson’s wife, Connie arrived at the store at the end of the work day. According to McCoy’s testimony, he left Johnson and Connie alone in the sales office. When he returned, Johnson showed him Connie’s body. Johnson had killed Connie by suffocating her. McCoy then helped dispose of her body.


The following day, Johnson recruited his boss to help search for his missing wife. Connie’s body was found inside of her vehicle, with a plastic bag stuffed in her mouth. They only set of keys to the vehicle were discovered in Johnson’s truck, along with several other personal belongings of Connie.


Johnson has denied killing his wife, saying he left McCoy and Connie alone in the office and McCoy killed her for the $450 in shopping money he had given her. Initially, Johnson denied any involvement in his wife’s murder, nor did he initially implicate McCoy.


Johnson was sentenced to death on November 25, 1985.  Since Johnson was sentenced to death prior to 1999, he is able to choose if he wants to be executed by lethal injection or via the electric chair.  Inmates generally make their selection one month before their execution date, however, Johnson has yet to select his method.  If he does not make a choice, he will be executed by lethal injection.  Attorneys for Johnson have said that Johnson is intentionally withholding his decision, until the Supreme Court of the United States rules on a challenge to the state's lethal injection drugs.  Johnson has also asked Governor Bill Lee for clemency.


Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Connie Johnson. Please pray for strength for the family of Donnie Johnson. Please pray that if Donnie is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed, or should not be executed for any other reason, that evidence will be presented prior to his execution. In past letters written to The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries, Inc., Donnie has expressed his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Please pray that his relationship with Christ will continue to grow and give him strength and peace during this time.



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