An Alabama Man Was Executed Thursday Even Though the Jury Voted To Spare His Life

An Alabama man convicted of murdering Huntsville convenience store clerk Casey Wilson in 1994 was executed on Thursday night.

Ronald Bert Smith Jr, 45, was given a lethal injection at the William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Altmore at 6 pm. He was served his last meal of three pieces of fried chicken, fries and a drink at 2.30pm.

Wilson was beaten and shot in the head during the robbery of the convenience store where he worked. Surveillance video recorded Smith entering the store and recovering spent shell casings from the bathroom where Wilson was shot.

Although the jury had convicted Smith of murder, the members voted 7-5 to spare him the death penalty. Wilson was pistol-whipped and shot in the head. His death left an infant without a father, one of the factors cited by Judge Lynwood Smith, now a federal judge, before he sentenced Smith to death.

Alabama is the only death penalty state that permits a judge to override a jury’s ruling. Smith is the 58th person the state has executed since capital punishment was resumed in 1983.


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