Pardon me if I am struggling to muster any sympathy for his plight.
(CNN)An Alabama death row inmate who challenged the constitutionality of the state’s execution procedures coughed and heaved for about 13 minutes during his execution by lethal injection Thursday night, AL.com reported.
The inmate, Ronald B. Smith, was among death row inmates nationwide who have challenged states’ recent changes to drug rosters used in executions — changes that came after manufacturers restricted access to traditionally used drugs.Smith, convicted in Alabama of a 1994 robbery and murder, was pronounced dead at 11:05 p.m. CT, 34 minutes after the execution began at the Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, according to AL.com, whose reporter Kent Faulk was present.During a 13-minute span toward the start of the process, Smith “appeared to be struggling for breath and heaved and coughed and clenched his left fist,” and his left eye appeared to be slightly open at times, AL.com reported.
Wilson was pistol-whipped and then shot through the head during the robbery, court documents show. Surveillance video showed Smith entering the store and recovering spent shell casings from the bathroom where Wilson was shot, according to the record.[…]Judge Lynwood Smith, now a federal judge, sentenced Smith to death. He likened the killing to an execution, saying the store clerk was beaten into submission and shot in the head in a crime that left an infant fatherless. In overriding the jury’s recommendation, the judge also noted in court records that, unlike many other criminal court defendants, Ronald Smith came from a middle-class background that afforded him opportunities.