Alabama sets February execution date for man in 1991 killing

Montgomery, Dec 2: Alabama on Tuesday set a February execution date for a man convicting of the 1991 killing of a woman abducted near an automatic teller machine and later found shot in a cemetery.
The Alabama Supreme Court ordered that 51-year-old Willie B. Smith III be put to death on Feb. 11 for the shotgun slaying of Sharma Ruth Johnson.
Prosecutors said Smith abducted Johnson at gunpoint in October 1991 as she waited to use an ATM machine in Birmingham, withdrew money using her bank card and then took her to a cemetery where he shot her in the back of the head.
A jury convicted Smith in 1992 in the death of Johnson, who was the sister of a Birmingham police detective.
Appellate courts rejected Smith’s claims on appeal, including that his lawyers provided ineffective assistance at trial and that he shouldn’t be executed because he is intellectually disabled. Court records indicate a defense team expert estimated his IQ at 64 while a prosecution expert pegged it at 72.
Alabama uses lethal injection to carry out most death sentences. (Agencies)