Famous Last Words
St. Louis, Missouri
October 24, 2001
“Missouri and its agents have killed innocent men in the past. I guess they think it’s just part of doing business. I have, over the past many years, heard many “last words” of those killed by the State and its citizens. They range from “I’m sorry” to “kiss my fat ass.” If the State and its citizens kill me, I would say that I do not forgive those whose lies led to my conviction. I do not forgive the jurists who exercised their considerable intellect to deny me justified legal redress. I do not forgive those State functionaries, who act as “good Germans” to kill me. I am innocent, but was not given the tools at trial, or on appeal, to make my innocence into a legal reality.”
In 1982, Johns and two accomplices worked together to rob a gas station, and in the process Johns, according to one accomplice who testified against him in exchange for a lighter sentence, shot the 17-year-old attendant in the back of the head before stealing $248. Johns insisted upon his innocence until his execution by lethal injection.