Alabama: Willie B. Smith III executed despite mental disability (IQ = 64)

After a delay of more than three hours, 52-year-old Willie B. Smith III was executed by lethal injection in the U.S. state of Alabama on Thursday night after the U.S. Supreme Court denied a final request for a stay of execution.

Smith was sentenced to death for the kidnapping and murder of a 22-year-old woman in 1991. His lawyers pointed out that their client had an IQ of between 64 and 75 – execution of mentally retarded persons is unconstitutional.

Another objection from the attorneys related to the fact that Alabama has provided for nitrogen as an alternative method of execution since 2018, but to date has not been prepared for it – Smith had received a form that he could have used to apply for the alternative method, but he was unable to understand and complete it without assistance. Had he applied for execution by nitrogen, he would not have been executed at this time.