Who is Kenneth Smith? Alabama to execute man for wage killing

Alabama is preparing to execute a man convicted in the 1988 contract killing of a preacher’s wife Thursday night.

Kenneth Eugene Smith, 57, is scheduled to receive a lethal injection at 6 p.m. CT at the William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore.

Prosecutors said that Smith and another man each received $1,000 for the murder of Elizabeth Sennett from her husband, the Reverend Charles Sennett, who was heavily in debt and wanted to collect insurance. He killed himself a week after his wife’s death when the murder investigation began to focus on him as a suspect.

John Forrest Parker, the other man convicted of murder, was executed in 2010.

Kenneth Smith is scheduled to be executed in Alabama on November 17. John Forrest Parker, the other man convicted of murder, was executed in 2010.
Alabama Department of Justice

Smith was sentenced to death by a judge in 1996, although an 11-1 jury recommended life imprisonment.

His execution is scheduled to come after the US Supreme Court denied Smith’s stay request in a brief ruling on Wednesday.

His attorneys challenged the constitutionality of the judicial overturn, finding that no state currently allows judges to overturn a jury’s recommendation in a death penalty case. Alabama was the last state to abolish the practice in 2017, but the change was not retroactive and therefore did not affect Smith.

If Smith’s trial “had taken place today he would not have been eligible for execution,” his lawyers wrote in the High Court petition.

“Nor would he be executed anywhere else in the United States, since every state that once allowed the practice of judicial override has abandoned it.”

Smith’s recent appeals also cited Alabama’s difficulties with IV lines for recently scheduled lethal injections.

Joe Nathan James Jr. was executed in July after hours of delays in an execution that interest groups called a botch. And in September, Alabama called off Alan Miller’s execution after he struggled to access his veins.

Alabama officials “tortured Joe Nathan James to death for over three hours while attempting to set up an IV line and then covered it up,” Reprieve US director Maya Roa said in a statement news week back then.

“Rather than pausing and examining how their actions led to what may be the longest-recorded execution in our country’s history, weeks later they instead took Alan Miller to the execution chamber and attempted to kill him secretly… It’s hard to understand how.” she can insist on this broken method of execution that keeps going disastrously wrong.”

The Alabama Department of Corrections has been asked for comment.

Smith’s execution is among four executions scheduled to take place in the United States within 48 hours. Murray Hooper was executed in Arizona on Wednesday morning, followed by Stephen Barbee hours later in Texas.

Richard Fairchild is scheduled to receive a fatal injection Thursday morning in Oklahoma.

https://www.newsweek.com/kenneth-smith-alabama-execution-murder-hire-killing-1760323 Who is Kenneth Smith? Alabama to execute man for wage killing

Rick Schindler

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