Killer Who Wanted to Donate Liver Executed

Gregory Scott Johnson, a death row inmate who wanted to donate his liver to his ailing sister before being executed, was put to death with his liver intact, precluding a transplant.

Killer Who Wanted to Donate Liver Executed (AP)

A convicted murderer who sought a reprieve so he could donate part of his liver to his ailing sister was executed early Wednesday. Gregory Scott Johnson died by injection at 12:28 a.m. for beating and stomping an 82-year-old woman to death in 1985, then setting her house on fire to hide the crime. His only words before being executed were: “Everyone has been professional.”

Gov. Mitch Daniels rejected Johnson’s request for a reprieve Tuesday, clearing the way for his death at the Indiana State Prison. The Supreme Court also denied a stay of execution. Daniels said he found “no grounds to second guess years of court rulings or to reject the recommendation of the parole board.” The governor said he accepted the sincerity of Johnson’s motivation in trying to donate part of his liver, but that medical experts had advised against it.

In a handwritten note released after he was executed, Johnson wrote: “There are those who claim that Debbie will have a new liver three weeks after being placed on the list. I’ll be watching from above and expect her to be recuperating at that time.”

Quite bizarre.

For background, see Death Row Inmate Can’t Donate Organs — Too Expensive.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. McGehee says:

    “Watching from above,” he says.

  2. Mark says:

    More like “looking up”

  3. Maggie says:

    Very few are reporting this info that I found on the

    “In their letter, the physicians stated Johnson was an unsuitable donor due to his exposure to hepatitis B, his obesity and unspecified “hereditary factors.”

  4. Just Me says:

    If a donors organ is unsuitable, the doctors are not going to allow the transplant no matter where the potential donor is.