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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Another Execution Set for Tonight: This TIme in Alabama

UPDATE: Prisoner pronounced dead at 6:25 PM. Final words: "Game over."

(Reuters) An Alabama man who has spent just four years on death row for the suffocation and beating death of his infant son is set to die by lethal injection on Thursday. The execution of Christopher Thomas Johnson, 39, is scheduled for 6 p.m. local time at the Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore.

Johnson made the rare move of pleading guilty to capital murder in the 2005 death of his 6-month-old son Elias Ocean Johnson. The inmate requested the death penalty, which was granted in February 2007, and waived all appellate and intervention measures on his behalf. One law professor said Johnson's brief stay on death row is unusual and could possibly be among the shortest on record nationwide.

In a statement issued by Project Hope to Abolish the Death Penalty, executive director Esther Brown said even though the organization respects Johnson's right to have the death penalty imposed, they questioned his motives.

"We are a prisoner organization and therefore respect a prisoner's wishes. Nevertheless, we question Mr. Johnson's mental stability, which would allow him to make this kind of decision," Brown said.

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