Saturday, October 23, 2021

Alabama carries out execution

The 8th Execution of 2021

Alabama corrections officials executed Willie Smith on October 21, 2021, eight months after the Supreme Court halted his lethal injection over a dispute about having his pastor present in the death chamber.

Smith, 52, was declared dead at 9:47 p.m., according to the attorney general's office. He was sentenced to death in 1992 for the abduction, robbery and murder of Sharma Johnson, 22, in 1991.

"The family of Sharma Johnson has had to wait 29 years, 11 months and 25 days to see the sentence of Sharma's murderer be carried out," Alabama Attorney General Steven Marshall said in a statement. "Finally, the cruel and unusual punishment that has been inflicted upon them -- a decades-long denial of justice -- has come to an end."

The execution "went according to our protocol," Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner told reporters afterward.

A press witness to the execution said Smith was accompanied into the chamber by his spiritual adviser Robert Wiley and that he offered no final words, WIAT reported.

He had no last meal and had refused breakfast and lunch during the day in which he was observed drinking a coke and eating M&Ms and barbecue chips, prison spokesperson Linda Mays said.

The execution was delayed several hours as the U.S. Supreme Court considered a petition by Smith's lawyers over his method of execution, which was denied.

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