Death row inmate asks for clemency, citing jury override

AP News
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Posted: Dec 01, 2016 1:50 PM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama inmate scheduled to be executed next week is asking the governor to stop his execution because a judge imposed a death sentence over the jury's 7-5 recommendation of life imprisonment.

Attorneys for Ronald Bert Smith wrote in a letter to Gov. Robert Bentley that the judge overrode the jury's will.

Smith will be executed Dec. 8 for the 1994 slaying of Huntsville convenience store clerk Casey Wilson.

The Alabama Supreme Court last week ruled the execution should proceed. Smith plans to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. His attorneys argue the sentence is unconstitutional under a Supreme Court decision that said Florida gave too much power to judges in deciding death sentences.

Smith's attorney said Alabama is the only state that allows judicial override.