2010: Salah ibn Rihaidan ibn Hailan Al-Johani, Medina serial rapist 2010: Liu Lieyong and Chen Xiaohui, Hubei gangsters

2010: Gary Johnson

January 12th, 2011 Headsman

“I never done anything in my life to anybody,” insisted 59-year-old Gary Johnson as he received on this date last year a lethal injection for a 1986 double homicide.

Life may be a journey and not a destination, but Johnson didn’t have far to travel: he was convicted of a murder just 10 miles outside Huntsville, where the state death house resides.

Specifically, he and his brother Terry allegedly burgled a ranch — and then shot dead the two men who responded to a concerned neighbor’s call about the suspicious activity. One of the victims was heard begging for his life before being shot execution-style.

(Terry Johnson copped a plea and is serving a 99-year sentence. Gary Johnson took his chances at trial.)

Without going so far as to advance any particular brief for Johnson’s actual innocence, we’re compelled to retch a little at this footnote to the Associated Press wire story:

[Gary Johnson’s trial prosecutor Frank] Blazek said investigators found the same slogan etched in concrete outside Johnson’s home and on a T-shirt he was wearing in a photograph: ”Kill them all and let God sort them out.”

What … like the everyday Metallica shirt? Or did he mean the Special Forces icon?*

”It indicated a callousness about human life,” he said.

This guy needs to get out more.

Similar fatuous claims about pop-death iconography as indicia of guilt were leveraged in the now-infamous Cameron Willingham case; there’s something rather troubling about the fact that a quarter-century on, and even with the Willingham embarrassment fresh in the headlines, the prosecutor still finds this inconsequential sidelight compelling enough to mention — and an institutional journalist finds it serious enough to print.

* The last link in this sentence was formerly to a Special Forces gear page showing items for sale with this same logo; the link was in no way sponsored (no link on this site will ever be sponsored), and it was completely relevant to the text since it not only displayed the message in question but the fact that that message is a going commercial concern — i.e., that one can easily buy a shirt with the “damning” slogan. Twenty-eight months after that link was posted, a Google bot declared it unnatural and penalized not my site but the recipient of the link. As usual, Google’s error-prone summary judgments come with no channel for appeal. Though I’ve reluctantly altered the link since the other site doesn’t deserve Google’s vindictiveness, I note here, for the record and biliously, the editorial muscle unjustifiably arrogated by Google’s slipshod algorithm police.

Part of the Themed Set: 2010.

On this day..

Entry Filed under: 21st Century,Capital Punishment,Common Criminals,Crime,Death Penalty,Execution,Lethal Injection,Murder,Ripped from the Headlines,Texas,USA

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2 thoughts on “2010: Gary Johnson”

  1. Mark DC says:

    Id gladly be for execution of Rober and his Brother Lee, if we could be sure they did the crime, especially if the man was begging for his life while the brothers shot him during a burglary, as described.

    I might be 99.9% sure, but I can’t be totally sure.

    THere is no word smith clever that he or she can write a law that says you can put someone in jail for life, if you believe beyond a reasonable doubt they are guilty, but only have them executed if you are absolutely sure they are guilty.

    There is no absolute — not even if the killer confesses — we have seen people confess wrongly. Even if I were a witness to the crime — saw it myself –I could not be absolutely sure. People have mistaken the idenity of killers before.

    Death penalty just makes a lot of money for lawyers.

    There is no perfect answer to what we do with killers, but keeping them in jail till they croak from natural causes is the best of the choices.

  2. Meaghan says:

    I recall reading about one mass or serial killer whom, the media reported with awe and horror, had an extensive DVD collection including violent movies such as Die Hard, Saw, etc. They acted like this movies were a clear indication of his violent character, failing to mention that just about EVERYBODY either owns those films or has at least seen them.

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