Middle Tennessee’s federal public defender is asking Gov. Bill Lee to halt all executions until an independent group can review the state’s protocols. The defense attorneys sent a letter to the governor Thursday morning, one week after he granted a last-minute reprieve for Oscar Smith.
Oscar Smith was not killed by the state of Tennessee as planned Thursday night.
Gov. Bill Lee granted Smith a temporary reprieve barely an hour before the execution was scheduled to take place, citing “an oversight in preparation for lethal injection.”
Update: About 15 minutes before Oscar Smith was scheduled to be executed, Gov. Bill Lee released this statement: “Due to an oversight in preparation for lethal injection, the scheduled execution of Oscar Smith will not move forward tonight. I am granting a temporary reprieve while we address Tennessee Department of Correction protocol. Further details will […]
Oscar Smith’s attorneys think lethal injection is cruel and unusual. But he doesn’t want to choose the electric chair, either. Instead, they’re asking for an alternative: firing squad.
Attorneys have filed a last-minute plea to reopen a death penalty case before their client’s scheduled execution later this month at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution.
When Pervis Payne walked into a Memphis courtroom on Tuesday morning, he hugged his attorney and sobbed.