Kenneth Smith Will Be Killed in Alabama for The Contract Murder of A Preacher’s Wife in 1988!
- On Monday, an Alabama man’s attorneys sought the Supreme Court to halt his execution because he had been given a death sentence against the will of the jury, a punishment that is now illegal because no state permits judicial override.
- On Thursday, Kenneth Eugene Smith will be put to death for the murder of a pastor’s wife in 1988. Despite the jury’s 11-1 vote for life in prison, a judge in 1996 still handed down a death sentence to Smith.
- However, because the change was not retroactive, death row inmates like Smith were not affected when Alabama became the last state to prohibit judges from overriding a jury’s sentencing decision in death penalty cases in 2017.
- Allegedly, Charles Sennett discussed having one of his tenants, Billy Gray Williams, murder his wife in exchange for insurance money to pay off debts, according to the prosecution.
- Prosecutors claim that Williams paid John Forrest Parker and Smith $2,000 to commit the murder, with Williams keeping $1,000. On March 18, 1988, Elizabeth Sennett was discovered dead in her husband’s home on Coon Dog Cemetery Road in Colbert County.
- The victim was stabbed eight times in the chest and once on each side of the neck, according to the coroner’s testimony. Court records show that a week after Charles Stennett became a suspect in a murder inquiry, he took his own life.
- Smith alleged that his right to choose nitrogen hypoxia over lethal injection was infringed by the state because he was not provided all of the information he needed to make an informed decision.
- Following the state’s approval of the unproven procedure as a means of carrying out the death penalty, prisoners on death row in Alabama were reportedly given 30 days to write in their preference for nitrogen hypoxia as the means of execution.