‘No more dying there’: Death row inmate Don Johnson sang hymn as lethal drugs took effect


“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

An article published on CommercialAppeal.com stated:

“Two strokes weakened Donnie Edward Johnson’s voice during his three decades on death row, but when he opened his mouth to sing for the last time Thursday night, the words were clear.

“Soon and very soon we are going to see the king,” he sang as the lethal drugs took effect.

For more than two minutes, he sang about redemption and love, themes that had animated his failed attempt to avoid execution.

At 7:23 p.m., as the sedative midazolam took hold, his voice faded away.

“No more dying there …”

Johnson, 68, was the fourth Tennessee inmate put to death since the state resumed executions in August. His victim’s family said Johnson’s death brought them justice after nearly 35 years.”

The article further states:

“Johnson is the second death row inmate to die by lethal injection since the state resumed executions last year. Billy Ray Irick died by lethal injection on Aug. 9. The state electrocuted Edmund Zagorski and David Miller.

The curtain to the execution room lifted at 7:17 p.m. Minutes later, officials administered the cocktail of powerful and deadly drugs, starting with midazolam.

As the sedative began coursing through his veins, Johnson sang. His voice was weakened by two strokes, but the words to the hymns were clear for more than two minutes.

By 7:24 p.m., after the singing had stopped, the warden checked to see if he was conscious.

“Don? Don?” he asked.

Then came vecuronium bromide and potassium chloride, drugs to stop his lungs and heart.

His face appeared purple then slowly turned ashen.

Then the room was quiet. All movement stopped.

Then prison staff drew the blinds.

He was declared dead at 7:37 p.m. local time in Nashville.

Henry, Johnson’s attorney, recalled how she woke up Thursday to a call from Johnson, who wanted to check in on her.

He recited Bible verses to her.

“He was tired but at peace,” she said in an emotional statement following the execution. “We prayed together at the end.”

He sang to her as she stood outside the execution chamber door to leave.”

The most important thing to keep in mind  is irrespective of our situation, accepting Jesus Christ is our path unto eternity.

I believe with my whole heart that on the resurrection day we shall join with Don among the many who have died and die in Christ singing the song of victory.

1 Co 15:55 “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?”

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however much we may loose on earth my prayer is that lets not loose the kingdom of heaven