USA - Oklahoma. Michael Dewayne Smith, 41, Black, was executed

USA - Michael Dewayne Smith (OK)

04 April 2024 :

April 4, 2024 - Oklahoma. Michael Dewayne Smith, 41, Black, was executed.
Smith received a lethal injection at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester and was pronounced dead at 10:20 a.m..
After the first of three lethal drugs, midazolam, was administered, Smith appeared to shake briefly and attempt to lift his head from the gurney before relaxing. He then took several short, audible breaths that sounded like snores or gasps. Oklahoma DOC Director Steven Harpe said after the execution that Smith “appeared to have some form of sleep apnea.”
A masked doctor entered the execution chamber at 10:14 a.m. and shook Smith several times before declaring him unconscious.
Smith appeared to stop breathing about a minute later. The doctor reentered the execution chamber at 10:19 a.m. and checked for a pulse before Harpe announced the time of death.
Smith was sentenced to die in 2003 in the separate shooting deaths of Janet Moore, 41, and Sharath Pulluru, 22, in February 2002. Smith had also been sentenced to life in prison for the November 2001 killing of Otis Payne, 26.
Given the opportunity to say last words, Smith responded, “Nah, I’m good.”
Rev. Jeff Hood, his spiritual adviser, told HuffPost that Smith was tearful minutes before and during the execution process. Hood added that a tear fell from Smith’s right eye after he appeared to be dead.
On March 6, Smith sought a clemency recommendation from the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board. Smith expressed his “deepest sorrows” to the victims’ families, but denied he was responsible. The board denied him clemency in a 4-1 vote.
Smith’s attorney, Mark Henricksen, argued that Smith is intellectually disabled, a condition worsened by years of heavy drug use, and that his life should be spared and he should be allowed to spend the rest of it in prison.
He is the first person executed in Oklahoma this year, the 124th overall since the state resumed capital punishment in 1990. He also is the 12th since Oklahoma resumed executions in October 2021 following a nearly six-year hiatus resulting from problems with lethal injections in 2014 and 2015. Oklahoma has executed more inmates per capita than any other state since the 1976 reinstatement of the death penalty. Only Texas (587) has carried out more executions in the country since the US Supreme Court stated in Gregg v Georgia on July 2, 1976, that executions could resume after they stopped all executions in June, 1972.
Smith becomes the 4th prisoner executed in the U.S. this year, and the 1,586th overall since the country resumed executions in 1977


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