Ohio has an execution scheduled for a killer stricken with cancer. The state will make it easier for condemned prisoner Kenneth Smith, who lost his larynx to cancer, to make a final statement immediately before his execution by lethal injection.
According to the Associated Press,the state will raise the gurney where Smith will lie and let him keep one arm free to make it easier for him to use his artificial voice box. It would be the first time an Ohio inmate has not been completely strapped down since the state resumed the death penalty in 1999.
Prison officials are using the change as part of their argument that a federal judge should dismiss a lawsuit challenging Ohio's execution procedures.
The 45-year-old Smith is scheduled to die July 19 for killing Lewis Ray and Ruth Ray in their home in 1995.