Death row inmate refuses last meal so that the homeless can be fed instead

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
Donnie Johnson rejected a last meal before his execution so that the homeless could be fed instead (Tennessee Department of Correction)

An inmate who is set to be executed on Thursday has opted not to have a last meal, instead asking for food to be given to homeless people.

Convicted murderer Donnie Johnson has asked supporters to donate $20 (£15) - the amount condemned inmates can spend on a last meal - to homeless shelters.

As a result of foregoing his final meal privileges, Johnson, 68, will instead get what everyone else in the general population at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville, Tennessee, is fed.

His decision is a tribute to executed Tennessee inmate Philip Workman, who asked for his $20 to go towards vegetarian pizzas for a local shelter.

While prison staff did not agree to Workman’s wishes, his supporters did and Johnson wants his own supporters to do the same, according to Johnson's attorney Kelley Henry.

Johnson is scheduled to be executed on Thursday evening (Wikipedia/stock photo)

Mr Henry said: "Mr. Johnson realises that his $20 allotment will not feed many homeless people.

"His request is that those who have supported him provide a meal to a homeless person.”

Johnson was sentenced to death after he killed his wife Connie Johnson in 1984.

He suffocated her by stuffing a black sack down her throat.

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Cynthia Vaughn, the daughter of the victim, previously asked for clemency for Mr Johnson ahead of his execution.

An application to Governor Bill Lee read: "Cynthia asks for the privilege of meeting you in person, so she can share her experience of Christian forgiveness.

”Cynthia's plea for mercy is exceptional. We know of only one other case in the history of the state of Tennessee in which the child of the ultimate victim has begged the governor for mercy for the murderer."

However, Governor Lee has denied clemency and Johnson’s execution is due to take place at 7pm on Thursday evening.

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