ATMORE, Ala. (AP) — A man convicted of killing a convenience store clerk has been put to death in Alabama, hours after the state’s execution plans were twice put on temporary hold by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Authorities say 45-year-old Ronald Bert Smith Jr. was pronounced dead at 11:05 p.m. CST Thursday after a lethal injection at a southwest Alabama prison.
Smith’s lawyers had asked the Supreme Court to halt the execution plan to review whether a judge should have been able to override the jury’s recommendation and impose the death penalty. The jury had recommended life imprisonment by a 7-5 vote.
The state argued the sentence was appropriate and legally sound.
The latest decision from the court capped a whirlwind of filings and orders Thursday evening. The execution was originally scheduled for 6 p.m. CST but was delayed twice. Four justices wanted to issue a permanent halt, but five were needed.
Smith’s attorneys made another application for a stay after the court’s latest decision.
Smith was convicted of capital murder in the fatal shooting of Casey Wilson at a Huntsville convenience store in 1994.