By JIM SALTER
Leaders of the four Roman Catholic dioceses in Missouri are urging state leaders to end the use of the death penalty, after a convicted killer of three was executed despite a request for clemency from the pope. Ernest Johnson was executed Tuesday evening, the first Missouri execution in 16 months and the seventh in the U.S. this year. Johnson killed three people in Columbia in 1994. On Wednesday, a statement signed by St. Louis Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski, Kansas City-St. Joseph Bishop James Johnston Jr., Jefferson City Bishop Shawn McKnight and Springfield-Cape Girardeau Bishop Edward Rice expressed disappointment with the decision to allow Johnson’s execution.