He will be executed this week because his appeal against the latest death row decision has been denied.
Oscar Smith, 72 years old, stabbed and killed his estranged spouse, Judith Smith, along with her sons Jason Burnett and Chad Burnett (13 and 16), at their Nashville residence in 1989.
The convict has always maintained his innocence and begged the Tennessee Supreme Court to reopen his case after an unknown person’s DNA was found on one of the murder weapons.
However, the state ruled that the death row inmate had not provided any evidence he was innocent of the brutal murders, with a judge stating Smith’s guilt was extensive.
The Tennessee judge referred to Smith’s repeated threats against his family and a life insurance policy that he had taken out in support of the victims.
Smith will become the first Tennessee prisoner to die from a lethal injection when he is executed on Thursday, April 21.
Smith isn’t the only convict that will be executed in the US this month.
Richard Bernard Moore of South Carolina was found guilty in the murder of a shop assistant. He will be executed by a firing team.
It follows a law last year that allows electrocution to become the default execution method. However, prisoners have the option of facing three prison workers with rifles.
According to the nonprofit Death Penalty Information Centre South Carolina is among eight states that use electrocution, and four that approve firing squads.
Moore stated in a statement that neither method was legal or constitutional, but that he supported death by electric chair more.
The 57 year-old stated: “I believe this election is forcing me to choose between two unconstitutional methods of execution, and I do not intend to waive any challenges to electrocution or firing squad by making an election.”
Moore was convicted in Spartanburg of murdering James Mahoney, a convenience store worker. He had gone into the store to look for money to pay for his cocaine habit.
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