Lawyer believes Tennessee inmate Don Johnson suffered during execution

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A lawyer for a Tennessee inmate who was executed by lethal injection says she believes he suffered excruciating pain during the process.

Kelley Henry said after the execution Thursday night that restraints and a partially blocked view of 68-year-old Don Johnson prevented her from seeing whether he was displaying signs of consciousness.

But Henry said she believes the gurgling, gasping noises he was making were an indication that he could feel the pain of the three drugs.

Henry said she believes Johnson would have felt like he was drowning, being buried alive and then burned.

Johnson was executed for suffocating his wife in 1984.

Department of Correction spokeswoman Neysa Taylor read a statement from Connie Johnson’s sister, Margaret Davis, calling for changes in the criminal justice system because of appeals that delayed the death sentence. She said her sister’s death was “inhumane and indescribable.”

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