Alabama man executed for 1991 murder

Willie B. Smith had been on death row for 30 years.

Posted: Oct 21, 2021 10:53 PM
Updated: Oct 22, 2021 1:09 PM

Willie B. Smith was executed Thursday night by the State of Alabama for the 1991 murder of Sharma Johnson.

Court records say Smith kidnapped Johnson at an ATM, then took her to a cemetery and shot her to death, execution style.

The United States Supreme Court stayed Smith's execution in February after the state would not allow his pastor at his side. Smith's attorneys moved to stay the execution again today on the grounds that Smith had a mental disability, but the Supreme Court blocked that request and allowed the execution to proceed.

In a statement, Gov. Kay Ivey said, “The evidence in this case was overwhelming, and justice has been rightfully served. The carrying out of Mr. Smith’s sentence sends the message that the state of Alabama will not tolerate these murderous acts. I pray that the loved ones of Ms. Johnson can be closer to finding peace.”

Smith's was the first execution in Alabama since before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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