Family Of Oklahoma Murder Victims Says Execution Will Bring Justice
TULSA, Oklahoma - With Oklahoma poised to become the first state to execute prisoners with nitrogen gas, News On 6 is hearing from the family of two murder victims anxious to learn when executions will begin again.
There are 48 prisoners on Oklahoma's death row.
The family member News On 6 spoke with said even when the execution happens, it won't bring her closure.
"I would like to say to him, when he's lying on that bed, to just relax and take a long, deep breath," said Angie Short, a victim’s aunt.
Short is ready for the day Raymond Johnson will be executed.
"He's an evil, evil man. He needs to just be gone," said Short.
Johnson murdered her niece, Brooke Whitaker, and Brooke's newborn baby girl Kya in 2007.
Previously, Johnson served 10 years in prison for the 1995 shooting death of Clarence Oliver.
Kya was just seven months old.
"You always think about what she would look like, and what she would be doing. We don't know," Short said.
With executions on hold for the past three years, Brooke's family has been waiting to learn how much longer Johnson will sit on death row.
Now they know the state is one step closer to his execution.
"I don't think it will bring closure. My heart, our hearts, will always be broken the way they were taken from us," Short said.
Johnson, an ex-boyfriend, beat Brooke with a hammer, then poured gasoline through her house and set her on fire.
Brooke and her baby died.
"I don't know how to forgive that. It's not in my heart. I can't do it," Short said.
Instead of focusing on him, Angie chooses to reflect on her niece.
She remembers Brooke for her laugh and the hugs she gave.
"She was ornery too. She had a little sassy attitude. But that was just how she was," Short said.
She said while she knows this new process will take time to take effect, she also knows Johnson's execution will bring justice to Brooke and Kya.
"I know it's not gonna bring closure, it's not gonna bring them back. But he needs to be eliminated,” Short said.
The state said it will take up to four months to develop a protocol for using nitrogen gas.
It will be even longer before any execution dates are set.
There are 16 prisoners on death row who have run out of appeals.
Johnson’s case is still going through the appeal process.