He was sentenced to death in for the murder of two white teenagers in He has consistently maintained that he acted in self-defence, and an appeal newly filed on his behalf alleges that the prosecution withheld evidence that supported his claim. Both had been shot. Police interviewed a woman, Tammy Durham, who said that she had asked the teenagers to come to the store where she worked after she saw a black man, wearing cut-off jeans and a dirty shirt and carrying a rolled up newspaper, acting suspiciously near the store.
After the teenagers arrived, she saw them approach a black man who was using a payphone outside the store and she said they left with him in their vehicle, after asking for a can of petrol. The police identified Lonnie Johnson, a year-old man with no criminal record, as a suspect.
They subsequently took Lonnie Johnson into custody, without a warrant, and obtained a statement which stated that he had acted in self-defence after a gun was pulled on him and that he had not known the two teenagers prior to that evening. Lonnie Johnson was charged with capital murder. The trial judge agreed and ruled that the statement was not admissible. The trial continued in September According to the appeal just filed, at the trial the prosecution "seemed to argue that either Mr Johnson did not know the men and feigned car trouble, or the men knew Mr Johnson in the context of drug dealing.
Johnson was found guilty of capital murder and after the prosecution produced numerous witnesses to testify that the defendant was violent, had a bad temper, and hated whites, he was sentenced to death. In an affidavit, the witness said that: These were statements made to make the District Attorney happy, so she would secure my early release from prison".
However, the courts have ruled that this witness had not been promised anything in return for testifying, and that his testimony had not affected the outcome of the trial. According to the appeal just filed in the state courts, Lonnie Johnson continues to maintain that he had been out running on the evening of the shooting. At the store in which Tammy Durham was working, he had accepted an offer of a lift from the two teenagers. He maintains that he was not wearing cut-off jeans or a dirty shirt or carrying a newspaper.
He says that after a few miles in the truck, Leroy McCaffrey had produced a gun, saying something like "nigger, this is the end of the ride for you", and Gunar Fulk had pulled the truck over to the side of the road.
Lonnie Johnson claims that he was ordered out of the vehicle, made to lie face down on the ground, and that he was kicked, racially abused and urinated upon. He was then ordered to stand up. Johnson says that, although his memory of what happened next is not clear, he remembers managing to wrestle the gun from Gunar Fulk and shooting him and then Leroy McCaffrey, who was armed with a knife and had apparently begun to flee the scene.
Lonnie Johnson says that he then took the truck and fled to Austin. At the trial, the defence had little or no evidence that the two teenagers were the aggressors, or that the gun belonged to them rather than Johnson. In another case in June , a judge on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals TCCA noted that the court had "repeatedly held that flight is evidence of a circumstance from which an inference of guilt may be drawn. Today, countries are abolitionist in law or practice.
In contrast to this, the USA has carried out 1, executions since resuming judicial killing in Texas accounts for of these executions. If Lonnie Johnson is executed, he would become the th person convicted in Harris County to be put to death since executions resumed in Texas in The state of Texas should not execute Lonnie Johnson for his role in this crime.
Executing Johnson would violate the right to life as declared in the Universal Declaration of Human rights and constitute the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.
Furthermore, Johnson claims that he only killed Fulk and McCaffrey out of self-defense. Please write to Gov. Rick Perry on behalf of Lonnie Johnson! Defendant was charged with capital murder. Both defendant and the state sought discretionary review.
Appellee was indicted for the offense of capital murder, alleged to have occurred on or about August 15, The trial court granted his motion to suppress his written statement. The State appealed that suppression ruling. The Texarkana Court of Appeals reversed the suppression ruling and held that the statement is admissible.
Both appellee and the State appealed the court of appeals' ruling and sought discretionary review by this Court. Thereafter the trial court entered findings of fact and conclusions of law. Based upon that hearing and the trial court's fact-findings, the record reflects that on August 15, , police discovered two bodies in Harris County.
During the course of investigation, appellee emerged as a suspect. Information was received that he was possibly in Austin. Harris County investigators received assistance from police in Austin. On August 29, Austin investigators located appellee's girlfriend in Austin. She gave oral and written statements implicating appellee in the Harris County murders. Around midnight, her written statement was FAXed to Harris County investigators, who proceeded to try to obtain a warrant for appellee's arrest.
In the meantime during the early morning hours of August 30, Austin investigators, in returning the girlfriend to her car located in the parking lot of her place of employment, observed appellee enter her car. Police moved in and arrested him there on that parking lot in Austin.
At that time, Harris County investigators were still in the process of securing an arrest warrant; thus the arrest was made without a warrant. Subsequently, in response to police interrogation, appellee gave the written statement which is the subject of the suppression claim. The Harris County investigators were able to get an arrest warrant issued that morning, whereupon they then drove to Austin.
More specifically, the record reflects that appellee was arrested at approximately 1: One of the Harris County investigators testified that they then contacted one of the Austin investigators, and indicated that they remained in contact with Austin investigators via mobile phone on the way to Austin.
The record also reflects that Appellee's written statement began at approximately 5: However, we granted one of the State's grounds for review challenging a portion of the Texarkana Court of Appeals' decision. The State insists that such a conclusion arose from a misinterpretation of the trial court's findings of fact, including placing undue emphasis on the format of the findings, misreading a particular finding, and ignoring the legal conclusions. State prisoner, who was convicted of capital murder, filed petition for a writ of habeas corpus, challenging his death sentence.
Prisoner sought certificate of appealability COA. The Court of Appeals held that: Johnson challenges only his death sentence. He raises the following issues: The State has a duty to disclose evidence favorable to the accused that is material to guilt or punishment.
To establish this due process violation, an accused must show that the State withheld evidence, that the evidence was favorable, and that the evidence was material to the defense. United States, U. During the punishment phase of Johnson's capital murder trial, the State called Donald Richardson to testify regarding violent threats Johnson made during a motorcycle trip from Tomball, Texas to Austin. Richardson testified that Johnson, who was armed with a gun, threatened to kill a man for his car.
Apparently, Johnson's habeas attorney had discovered the following note in the prosecution file: I need to see you as soon as possible, please come see me at the jail. I am at Franklin 7th Floor at the moment. I am having some problems that I need fixed right now. If you can't make it today please send someone else to assist me. Sincerely Donald Richardson [address omitted] P. Pertaining to Lonnie E. With respect to the chronology of events, the note was written on October 10, The jury found Johnson guilty of both capital murders on November 14, , and three days later the judge accepted the jury's punishment verdict of a death sentence.
These were statements made to make the district attorney happy, so she would secure my early release from prison. In October of , Richardson spoke to an investigator with the Harris County District Attorney's Office and the information provided in that interview was consistent with Richardson's trial testimony.
Additionally, the court found that after Richardson was moved once within the jail, any other requests he made, including to be moved again, were ignored by the State. The court expressly found that Glaeser neither made a deal with Richardson nor instructed or encouraged him to lie at trial. The court also found credible the affidavits of Rob Kepple, an assistant district attorney who was involved in the pretrial proceedings, and D.
Wells, an investigator for the Harris County District Attorney's office. Both affiants stated that Richardson received no deal or agreement in exchange for his testimony. In a nutshell, the state habeas court found that the prosecution did not promise anything in exchange for Richardson's testimony. Johnson has failed to marshal clear and convincing evidence to rebut the presumption of correctness afforded the state court's findings of fact.
In view of the other evidence of Johnson's future dangerousness, combined with the instant execution-style murders of the two teenage boys who apparently were attempting to help Johnson with his feigned car trouble, we conclude that there is no reasonable probability that disclosure of the allegedly suppressed evidence would have resulted in a different outcome at sentencing.
Accordingly, because we conclude that jurists of reason would not find the district court's disposition of this claim debatable, we deny a COA. The district court therefore found that it was procedurally barred from considering this claim. Johnson acknowledges that no objection was made. As such, the district court's conclusion that habeas review of Johnson's claim is procedurally barred is not debatable among reasonable jurists.
Johnson has not demonstrated either cause or prejudice, or that imposition of the bar would constitute a miscarriage of justice. He thus has failed to show that jurists of reason would find the district court's procedural bar debatable. In any event, our precedent squarely precludes Johnson from making a substantial showing regarding the denial of due process or equal protection rights with regard to this claim. The district court's disposition of this claim is not debatable, and thus, we deny a COA.
The district court denied relief, stating, inter alia, that it could not grant relief without creating a new rule in violation of Teague v. FN2 Moreover, this Court recently rejected the claim that the State is constitutionally required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the absence of mitigating circumstances.
The district court's disposition of this claim is not debatable and thus, we deny a COA.