Shannon Johnson was scheduled to be executed early Friday morning, but that execution is now on hold.
U.S. District Judge Gregory Sleet has issued a stay of execution so he can hear arguments on a motion made by federal public defenders that Johnson is mentally incompetent and should not be executed. This is the second try by public defenders to save Johnson’s life without his consent. Johnson’s attorney along with state prosecutors say the public defenders office has no business trying to insert itself in the case. The office was ordered last year not to intervene in any legal matter involving Johnson without court permission.
Johnson was sentenced to death in 2008 for the killing of Cameron Hamlin in September 2006. Johnson has been called a “volunteer” for the death penalty because he’s waived all appeals. Despite his apparent willingness to be executed, death penalty opponents have fought to stop the execution.