Execution Delay Appeal in Shannon Johnson Murder Case

Apr 16, 2012


            The Delaware Federal Public Defender’s Office is trying to stop the Friday execution of convicted killer Shannon Johnson.

            He has waived all appeals paving the way for his lethal injection sentence.

            But in its third attempt to stop the execution the Public Defender’s office filed an 88 page brief with the US District Court.

            It argues that despite a lengthy competency hearing Johnson is not competent to waive his appeals.

            The opinion says that while Johnson appears to be lucid and articulate during his court appearances federal defenders said that Johnson suffers from – what they called – a debilitating combination of mental disorders including severe brain damage.

            The opinion argues that the Public Defender’s office has authority to step in and force a delay because it is now acting on behalf of Johnson’s sister. 

            Johnson’s attorney told the Wilmington News Journal that she expected that an estranged family member would file a petition against her client’s wishes.