Death row inmate’s clemency appeal stresses Christian faith

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Supporters of a Tennessee death row inmate are appealing to Gov. Bill Lee’s Christian faith as they request clemency for a prisoner they say was redeemed by Jesus.

A clemency petition sent Wednesday includes a plea from Cynthia Vaughn, the daughter of the woman Johnson was convicted of killing. Vaughn is also Donnie Johnson’s step-daughter.

The petition quotes Vaughn’s own letter to Lee, describing a 2012 visit to Johnson in prison. Vaughn says she vented three decades of anger and pain on Johnson and then decided to forgive him. That decision changed her life. She’s asking to meet with Lee and share her story.

The petition also emphasizes Johnson’s Christian conversion.

Johnson was convicted of murdering his wife Connie Johnson in 1984 by suffocating her. His execution is scheduled May 16.

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