Don Johnson will be executed at 7:00 p.m. on May 16, 2019, unless Governor Bill Lee exercises his constitutional authority to grant mercy and spare his life. We know that Governor Lee is a man of deep faith. We have seen that he takes criminal justice very seriously. He has proven by his actions that he knows that prisoners are defined by more than just their crimes. We trust Governor Lee.
We also trust all of you. Please let your voices be heard.
Governor Lee needs to hear from each and every one of you. Some of you have known Don Johnson for years, and can share your deep wisdom. Others have not met Don personally, but have been touched by his transformation and by Cynthia and her extraordinary example of forgiveness. All of you have unique insights, based on your own life experiences and your personal faith traditions. There is no single right reason why Don Johnson should be spared. There is no single argument for why Cynthia Vaughn’s call for mercy should be answered. There is no one-size-fits-all way to ask Governor Lee for clemency.
However, we will share a few suggestions.
- Please write, call and e-mail the Governor’s office. Feel free to do all three.
- Please share this website with your Church, friends, family and neighbors.
- Please invite more people to join us, and share the wonderful story of Cynthia and Don with others.
- Please do something sincere and unique, that we have not been smart enough to think of.
- Please continue to pray for Don, for Cynthia, for Governor Lee, and for each other.
The only thing that we ask is that all messages be positive and hopeful. The lawyers have lost. The legal arguments are done. The issue before Governor Lee is whether the Don Johnson of today deserves mercy. Governor Lee needs to decide whether Don Johnson’s redemption and Cynthia’s forgiveness justify a grant of clemency.
If you are personally opposed to the death penalty, and wish to explain why, that is certainly reasonable. If you believe that redemption is possible for many on death row, and that Don is but one beautiful example of this truth that is fine to say. However, we hope that everyone will be optimistic, hopeful and loving in their approach. Don Johnson should be spared, not because someone else is bad, or a system is wrong, but because he is a good man. Cynthia Vaughn’s request for mercy should be honored, because it is beautiful and right.
Thank you for all you have already done and will do in the future.
Together, we will prevail.
How to contact Governor Bill Lee:
Please send letters to Governor Lee at: Governor Bill Lee, 1st Floor, State Capitol, Nashville, TN 37243
Please call the Governor’s office at: (615) 741-2001
What to tell the Governor:
Speak from the heart. Speak as you are inspired. Speak sincerely. We have already seen some of the first letters to be sent to the Governor, and we have been moved by how unique and heartfelt they have been. No advocate can craft a more powerful message than the truth.
Let Governor Lee know that you are asking that he grant Don Johnson clemency, and that he honor Cynthia Vaughn’s call for mercy.
Let him know who you are, where you come from, what you do. Let him know how you know, or have been connected with, Don and Cynthia.
If you know Don, personally, share with Governor Lee real examples of how Don has helped or inspired you, or how you have witnessed him help others. Concrete stories about Don’s faith and good works are very powerful.
If you come to this, through Cynthia, please share with Governor Lee how her message and example have positively affected you.
If you do not know Don or Cynthia, personally, but have been affected by Don’s story of Redemption and Cynthia’s of Forgiveness, please let Governor Lee know how their message has moved you.
If, for you, this is a greater cause, and Don is but the first inmate that Governor Lee should spare, please share that truth.
Remember that Governor Lee is a sincerely faithful Christian who has proven that he does not only talk the talk, but he has walked the walk for many years in helping prisoners return to society. We trust him.
Speak from a place of love and hope.
Please let the lawyers know what you are doing.
A small group of very fortunate lawyers are honored to represent Don Johnson. They cannot control the whirlwind, and they do not expect to control all that you will do for Don and Cynthia. However, if you can keep them informed of your efforts, and if you would share copies of any letters that you send, emails that you deliver, or phone calls that you make—they would be incredibly appreciative.
The easiest way to share copies of letters, emails, and to notify us of any phone contacts is via email: email@example.com
You can also mail copies and updates to:
Clemency Counsel, Rev. Charles Fels, c/o Satyra Deaver, 810 Broadway, Suite 200, Nashville, TN 37203
If you would like to use the phone to tell us what you are doing, you can call Ms. Deaver at: 615-695-6952
Thank you, for everything you are doing for Don and Cynthia.