Tags: alabama | execution | killer | overtime

Alabama Execution of Store Clerk Killer Goes Overtime

Image: Alabama Execution of Store Clerk Killer Goes Overtime

Ronald Bert Smith Jr. (Alabama Department of Corrections via AP, File)
 

By    |   Friday, 09 Dec 2016 12:06 PM

Alabama's execution of  Robert Bert Smith Jr. went longer than expected on Thursday night as the store clerk killer coughed and heaved for about 13 minutes while being administered the lethal drugs.

Smith was being put to death at the Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore for the 1994 murder of convenience store clear Casey Wilson in Huntsville, said website AL.com, and he appeared to be moving his lips before and after the drugs were administered.

He was declared dead at 11:05 p.m. after the 34-minute execution.

Smith's attorneys had argued in a lawsuit against the state's lethal injection protocol, saying that the sedative in the first drug administered did not make inmates insensate enough so they could not feel the burning pain of the last two drugs.

"There will be an autopsy that will be done on Mr. Smith," Jefferson Dunn, commissioner of the Alabama Department of Corrections, told reporters in a briefing after Smith's execution, said the Washington Post. "And if there were any irregularities or anything, then that would be shown, borne out, in the autopsy."

The U.S. Supreme Court was split in denying a stay in Smith execution, said the Post, with Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan supporting a stay.

Smith's attorneys said the court "should not permit executions in the face of four dissents. … The Court's inconsistent practices respecting 5-4 stay denials in capital cases clash with the appearance and reality both of equal justice under law and of sound judicial decision-making."

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who is assigned to the 11th Circuit that included Alabama, denied the last stay request shortly before 10:30 p.m.

"For more than two decades Ronald Bert Smith has avoided justice for the cold blooded murder of Casey Wilson, who was first pistol whipped and shot in the arm after refusing to open a convenience store cash register and then shot in the head and left to die," said Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange. "The trial court described Smith's acts as 'an execution style slaying.' Tonight, justice was finally served."

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Alabama's execution of Robert Bert Smith Jr. went longer than expected on Thursday night as the store clerk killer coughed and heaved for about 13 minutes while being administered the lethal drugs.
alabama, execution, killer, overtime
351
2016-06-09
Friday, 09 Dec 2016 12:06 PM
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