Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Execution Day: Gregory Scott Johnson 1965-2005 Murderer

Gregory Scott Johnson (February 18, 1965 – May 25, 2005 at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City, Indiana) was legally executed for beating and stomping 82-year-old Ruby Hutslar to death in 1985. He set her house on fire in an attempt to conceal his crime.

Johnson sought a reprieve, asserting that he wanted to donate a portion of his liver to his ailing sister, Deborah Otis, who was suffering from non-alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver and was in need of a transplant. His reprieve was denied because most doctors believe that it is unethical to harvest organs after death by lethal injection, and because Johnson himself was not a suitable donor. Another possibility – though not in Indiana, where all organ recipients (except kidney recipients) are chosen by law according to their places on a waiting list, on which list Johnson's sister does not appear – would have been a living partial organ donation prior to execution. The case for delaying execution probably was not helped by the fact that Johnson was infected with Hepatitis B, and that his liver was too large to be suitable for his sister. Patients in Indiana typically receive a liver after about twenty days on the waiting list.

In a statement before his death, Johnson criticized the Parole Board for turning down his request.

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