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United States: death row inmate executed in Alabama 30 years after the fact

2021-10-22T05:40:53.930Z

Alabama authorities on Thursday, October 21, executed at the end of the day an African-American convicted of the murder of a white woman 30 ...



Alabama authorities on Thursday, October 21, executed an African-American convicted of murdering a white woman 30 years ago after his execution was suspended at the last minute last February.

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Willie Smith, 52, was put to death by lethal injection at 9:47 p.m. local time (02:47 GMT) in a prison in southwest Alabama. “

Justice has been served. Tonight, Willie Smith was put to death for the heinous crime he committed almost thirty years ago: the kidnapping and execution of an innocent young woman, Sharma Johnson,

”Attorney General said Steve Marshall in a statement.

He had obtained a reprieve last February, when he was to receive a lethal injection in the evening, the high court had ruled that the absence of a chaplain in the death chamber was illegal.

Willie Smith had asked that his pastor be by his side during his execution, to facilitate what he called the "

transition between the world of the living and that of the dead

."

Since then, prison officials have said they will allow the pastor's presence, but his lawyers have lodged other appeals.

According to them, Willie Smith suffered from an intellectual disability which prevented him from understanding that he could choose how he could be executed.

Read also "The Hollywood Ripper" sentenced to death for the murder of two women

In 1991, Willie Smith abducted a 22-year-old woman in front of a distributor.

By threatening her with a gun, he had forced her to give him her credit card code and had withdrawn a hundred dollars, under the watchful eye of a surveillance camera.

He then drove to a cemetery and shot his victim, who was the sister of a policeman, to the head.

He had put the body back in the young woman's car and set it on fire.

A year later, he was sentenced to death by ten out of twelve jurors, with Alabama being one of the few states in the United States to allow verdicts by non-unanimous juries.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2021-10-22

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