ATMORE, Ala. (WIAT) — The State of Alabama has abandoned its attempt to execute Kenneth Eugene Smith.
The announcement that the state would not proceed with the execution came after the U.S. Supreme Court had cleared the way for the lethal injection around 10:24 p.m.
A full timeline of the day’s events can be found here.
In a press conference Thursday night, John Hamm, Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Corrections, claimed the execution was called off after issues establishing necessary vein access. Hamm said the “execution team” was able to access one vein, but the state’s protocol requires two points of IV access. The team soon moved on to a “central line procedure” but did not have time to complete it, according to Hamm.
Hamm would not answer questions about the number of times Smith had been prodded before the execution was called off, although he confirmed they attempted vein access in “several” locations.
Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner John Hamm comments on the case of Kenneth Smith, who was scheduled to be executed by the state this evening. https://t.co/fy1Q6rgZxO— Lee Hedgepeth (@lee_hedgepeth) November 18, 2022
Smith has served more than 33 years in prison for his role in the contract killing of Elizabeth Sennett in Colbert County, Alabama.
He is now back in his cell, a prison official said.