Ronald Smith, Alabama

 

Updated: Friday, December 9, 2016 12:15 am EST

Ronald Smith has been executed in Alabama, following a lengthly delay due to appeals. Read more about Ronald here.

Updated: Thursday, December 8, 2016 10:15 pm EST

The Supreme Court of the United States has vacated the second stay of execution for Ronald Smith. His execution is rescheduled for 9:45 CST. A second temporary stay of execution was granted by the Supreme Court of the United States so that they could reconsider their earlier decision to not grant a stay of execution.

Updated: Thursday, December 8, 2016 9:02 pm EST

A second temporary stay of execution has been granted by the Supreme Court of the United States. The Court has been asked to reconsider their earlier decision to not grant a stay of execution.

Updated: Thursday, December 8, 2016 8:47 pm EST

 

The Supreme Court of the United States has overturned their earlier ruling staying the execution of Ronald Smith. Alabama had planned to begin the execution if the Supreme Court had not issued a decision regarding Ronald's appeal before 6 pm CST. The Supreme Court issued a stay to halt the start of the execution. Upon further consideration, the Supreme Court has vacated their earlier order, by a vote of 4-4. It takes five justices to stay the execution.

 

Updated: Thursday, December 8, 2016 6:37 pm EST

 

The Supreme Court of the United States has stayed the execution of Ronald Smith. Alabama had planned to begin the execution if the Supreme Court had not issued a decision regarding Ronald's appeal before 6 pm CST.

 

Updated: Thursday, December 8, 2016 4:48 pm EST

 

A three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected a request to stay the execution of Ronald Smith. Ronald has appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States.

 

Updated: Monday, December 5, 2016 10:48 am EST

 

Ronald Bert Smith, Jr., is scheduled to be executed at 6 pm CST, on Thursday, December 8, 2016, at the Holeman Correctional Facility in Attmore, Alabama. Forty-four-year-old Ronald is convicted of the murder of Casey Wilson on November 8, 1994, in Madison County, Alabama. Ronald has spent the last 21 years of his life on Alabama’s death row.

 

Ronald grew up attending a Methodist Church, participating in youth activities. He was also an accomplished Boy Scout and was described as a “quiet, polite, respectful…gentle young man” at his trial. Ronald graduated from high school as a member of the National Honor Society and was offered (but did not accept) a three-year Naval ROTC scholarship to Auburn University. Ronald began drinking heavily in college and skipping classes, ultimately causing him to withdraw before the end of his first year. Ronald did not have a prior criminal record, although he had at least twice gotten into a fight at a nude nightclub.

 

During the early morning hours of November 8, 1994, Ronald Smith, Jay Zuercher, and Chad Roundtree were driving around when they decided to rob a local convenience store, the Circle C, in Huntsville, Alabama. After parking the vehicle, Zuercher and Roundtree remained in the vehicle, while Smith entered the store. The only other person in the store was the clerk, Casey Wilson.

 

According to surveillance tapes, Smith pointed a gun at Casey, telling him to open the register. When Casey was unable to open the register, Smith forced Casey into the restroom, pistol-whipping him and shooting him in the left arm. Smith left Casey in the restroom and attempted to force the register open. Smith was unsuccessful.

 

Smith then turned his attention to the safe, which was under the counter. Smith was able to manipulate the combination lock on the safe and open it. Smith returned to the restroom and shot Casey in the back of the head, killing him. Smith then collected his spent shell casings.

 

At some point, Zuercher also entered the store, stealing a pack of cigarettes. Both men then left the store. Before they drove away, someone remembered that the store contained video surveillance. Smith returned to the store twice to attempt to destroy the videos, before taking the recorder and tape with him.

 

Smith was convicted on August 5, 1995. A jury recommend by a vote of 7-5 that Smith be sentenced to life without parole. A judge overrode the jury, sentencing Smith to death on October 6, 1995. Zuercher received a sentence of life in prison, with parole possible after 10 years. Roundtree, after accepting a reduced charge in exchange for his testimony, received a 20-year sentence with parole possible after 10 years.

 

Ronald Smith has asked the Supreme Court of the United States to halt is execution on the grounds that a judge overruled a jury's recommendation of life in prison.

 

Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Casey Wilson. Please pray for strength for the family of Ronald. Please pray that if Ronald is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed or should not be executed for any other reason, that evidence is presented prior to his execution. Please pray that Ronald may come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already.

 

 

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