Ala. Executes Johnson

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Condemned murderer Keith Johnson has been put to death in Alabama's first lethal injection execution. It took place Thursday night at Holman Prison in Atmore.

Some investigators asked that the execution be halted so Johnson, 46, could help them solve the crime. Johnson's appeals were rejected by the governor and U.S. Supreme Court.

Johnson was sentenced to die for his role in the shooting death of Hartselle jeweler Kenneth Cantrell in 1984.

Johnson acknowledged the presence of his pastor and a friend in the witness room and told the warden, quote, "They know I love them."

The drugs were administered at 6:00 p.m. as Johnson was strapped to a gray gurney, his arms extended and head and shoulders tilted upward. He was pronounced dead at 6:27 p.m.

Johnson was not the triggerman and the original case investigators said it was possible that he could help bring his cohorts to justice. No one else has been prosecuted.

Lethal injection became Alabama's primary method of execution under a law passed earlier this year, leaving only Nebraska with the chair as the sole means to execute condemned inmates.

Alabama's electric chair, known as "Yellow Mama" for its color, was used for 75 years. It was last used in May. Extended Web Coverage

States with No Death Penalty

  • Alaska
  • District of Columbia
  • Hawaii
  • Iowa
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • North Dakota
  • Pennsylvania
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Stats on Executions

  • 802 - Total number of executions since the 1976 reinstatement of capital punishment.

  • 9 - Number of female defendants that have been executed since 1976.

  • 454 - Number of white defendants executed.

  • 278 - Number of black defendants executed.

  • 52 - Number of Latino defendants executed.

  • 13 - Number of Native American defendants executed.

  • 5 - Number of Asian defendants executed.

  • 53 - Number of executions in 2002.

Most states use lethal injection as the mode of execution, but there are some variations:

  • Alabama: Lethal injection or choice of electrocution.

  • Arizona: Lethal injection of choice of gas chamber for those sentenced before 11/92

  • Arkansas: Lethal injection of choice of electrocution for those sentenced before 3/4/83

  • California: Lethal injection

  • Colorado: Lethal injection

  • Connecticut: Lethal injection

  • Delaware: Lethal injection or choice of hanging for those sentenced before 6/13/86

  • Florida: Lethal injection of choice of electrocution for those sentenced before 1/14/00

  • Georgia: Lethal injection

  • Idaho: Lethal injection or firing squad

  • Illinois: Lethal injection

  • Indiana: Lethal injection

  • Kansas: Lethal injection

  • Kentucky: Lethal injection or choice of electrocution for those sentenced before 6/1/98

  • Louisiana: Lethal injection

  • Maryland: Lethal injection of choice of gas chamber for those sentenced before 3/11/94

  • Mississippi: Lethal injection

  • Missouri: Lethal injection

  • Montana: Lethal injection

  • Nebraska: Electrocution

  • Nevada: Lethal injection

  • New Jersey: Lethal injection

  • New Mexico: Lethal injection

  • New York: Lethal Injection

  • North Carolina: Lethal injection

  • Ohio: Lethal injection

  • Oklahoma: Lethal injection

  • Oregon: Lethal injection

  • Pennsylvania: Lethal injection

  • South Carolina: Lethal injection

  • South Dakota: Lethal injection

  • Tennessee: Lethal injection of choice of electrocution for those sentenced before 1/1/99

  • Texas: Lethal injection

  • Utah: Firing squad or lethal injection

  • Virginia: Electrocution or lethal injection

  • Washington: Hanging or choice of lethal injection

  • Wyoming: Lethal injection

  • U.S. Government: Lethal injection

  • U.S. Military: Lethal injection

Source: (The Death Penalty Information Center Web site) contributed to this report.