More than fifty Alabama inmates escaped execution yesterday after the US Supreme Court ruled it illegal to ban the man’s priest from being by his side during the execution.
Willie Smith, who is 52 years old, has served in the death ward for 30 years but he was sentenced the year 1991 for murder of 22 a woman in Birmingham, Alabama, after kidnapping her at an ATM in the city.
Smith’s lawyers have been trying for decades to have the death penalty overturned and referred to his IQ, but his IQ is below 75 which is the minimum to be executed in the United States. It refers to the fact that the person in question can realize the seriousness of the crime he committed.
Now that the date of the execution had been decided, his lawyers appealed to the federal court against the decision of the authorities to ban Smith’s priest from attending the execution. The reason for the refusal of the prison authorities is the epidemic rules for Covid – 19, according to a report by the AFP news agency.
Smith had requested that his priest be with him at the execution, allegedly to facilitate his transfer between the living and the dead.
A federal court agreed with Smiths’ lawyers that the execution would be temporarily suspended, but the Alabama authorities appealed the federal court’s decision to the Supreme Court. A majority in the Supreme Court rejected Alabama’s appeal, saying the state could not kill Smit without his pastor present. Three judges voted against this Supreme Court decision; Brett Kavanaugh, Clarence Thomas and John Roberts.
It is even believed that the authorities will be able to kill Smith later today, that is, if his pastor is allowed to be present. But the authority to kill Smith now expires later today. If it happens, it’s the first execution that the United States will make this year 2021. The number of executions by the United States fell sharply last year, but at the same time the Donald Trump administration had 13 taken prisoners for half a year.
At the trial of Smith it was revealed that he stole 80 US dollars from Sharma Ruth Johnson at the ATM and then took her to a cemetery where he shot her to death.