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Ronald Bert Smith, Jr. - Alabama Execution - December 8, 2016
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Thread: Ronald Bert Smith, Jr. - Alabama Execution - December 8, 2016

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    Administrator Michael's Avatar
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    Ronald Bert Smith, Jr. - Alabama Execution - December 8, 2016




    Summary of Offense:

    Convicted in 1995 for killing night clerk Casey Wilson during a 1994 robbery at Circle C at Memorial Parkway and Byrd Spring Road.

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    Ronald Bert Smith v. Commissioner, Alabama Department of Corrections

    Opinion Date: December 28, 2012

    Court: Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals

    Petitioner appealed the dismissal of his federal habeas corpus petition brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 2254, as amended by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA). The court affirmed the district court's dismissal of the habeas petition as untimely because it was not filed within the one-year statute of limitations. The court also concluded that petitioner failed to demonstrate extraordinary circumstances sufficient for equitable tolling of the filing deadline.
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

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    Federal appeals court says Alabama death row inmate cannot appeal despite concerns about attorney

    The federal appeals court in Atlanta has determined that an Alabama death row inmate cannot appeal his conviction and sentence, despite the inmate's concerns that his attorney was abusing drugs and alcohol.

    In a split decision, a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals concluded late last month that Ronald Bert Smith's lawyers had not "properly filed" a petition of appeal by the state's deadline.

    Though it was filed Sept. 27, 2001 - within the one-year window - Smith's lawyers included neither the $154 filing expense nor a motion to waive the fee. The fee was not paid until February 2002.

    At the time, Smith was represented by Tennessee attorney William Massey and Alabama attorney C. Wade Johnson.

    Less than a month after Smith's petition was initially filed, Johnson was charged with nine counts of possession of a controlled substance. Smith alleges that Johnson then filed for bankruptcy, before committing suicide in August 2002.

    In his appeal, Smith argued that Johnson was unable to competently represent him or properly file the petition because of "Johnson's long and ongoing history of abuse of prescription drugs and crystal methamphetamine," according to the opinion.

    The federal appeals court's opinion states that even if Johnson's documented struggles with drugs and alcohol prevented him from competent representation, Smith also must prove that Massey, his out-of-state attorney, was incapable of representing him.

    "We cannot say that Massey's conduct constitutes abandonment of Smith," the opinion states.

    In 2000, Smith was convicted in Madison County for the November 1994 murder of a convenience store clerk during an early morning robbery. He and two others were charged with capital murder in the killing. Smith was 23 at the time of his arrest in December 1994.

    A jury found Smith guilty but recommended a sentence of life in prison. However, the judge rejected the jury's recommendation, instead sentencing Smith to death.

    A quirk of the capital punishment system, such overrides are allowed only in two states besides Alabama, according to The New York Times.

    One of Smith's co-defendants, Jay Allen Zuercher, was sentenced to life in prison with parole possible in 10 years. The other, Chad Roundtree, accepted a reduced charge in exchange for his testimony. He pleaded guilty to felony murder and was sentenced to 20 years with parole possible in less than 10.

    http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2013/01/..._says_ala.html
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    On February 19, 2013, Smith's petition for a rehearing en banc was denied by the US Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

    http://www.supremecourt.gov/Search.a...es/13-5436.htm

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    In today's United States Supreme Court orders, Smith's petition for writ of certiorari was DENIED.

    Appeals exhausted. Ruling could result in an execution date.
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

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    Senior Member CnCP Legend Mike's Avatar
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    Alabama AG seeks execution dates for 3 death row inmates

    The Alabama Attorney General's Office has asked the Alabama Supreme Court to set execution dates for three death row inmates in murder cases from Madison, Etowah and Mobile counties.

    The three inmates that have pending execution motions are Vernon Madison, Robert Bryant Melson, and Ronald Bert Smith, according to the Attorney General's Office. All three inmates are currently on the death row at Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore.

    As of Thursday the Alabama Supreme Court had not set dates for the executions.

    The requests by the Attorney General's Office come about a month after the state executed by lethal injection death row inmate Christopher Eugene Brooks – the state's first execution in more than two years.

    Brooks was among a group of inmates who had challenged Alabama's new lethal injection drug cocktail, which the state says it had to turn to after pharmaceutical companies refused to have their drugs used in executions. Brooks' attorneys and other inmates have claimed the first drug in the cocktail – midazolam - does not put the condemned inmate in deep enough sleep to prevent pain when the other two drugs are administered.

    The Alabama Department of Corrections reported no problems with the execution.

    A judge had ruled that Brooks was too late in filing his challenge to the drug protocol. A hearing is set next month for the remaining inmates on that issue.

    The three inmates for which the Attorney General's Office is seeking execution dates are not a part of that midazolam litigation.

    Vernon Madison

    Madison, who has been on death row since Nov. 12, 1985, was convicted in September 1985 and sentenced to death in Mobile County in the April 18, 1985 slaying of police Officer Julius Schulte, who was responding to a domestic disturbance call. Madison was on parole at the time.

    Madison had three trials, the last one in 1994. State appellate courts twice had sent the case back to Mobile County, once for a violation based on race-based jury selection and once based on improper testimony for an expert witness for the prosecution. He is one of Alabama's longest-serving death row inmates.

    Robert Bryant Melson

    Melson, who has been on death row since May 16, 1996, was convicted in Etowah County, along with another man, Cuhuatemoc Peraita, in the shooting deaths of Tamika Collins, 18, Nathaniel Baker, 17, and Darrell Collier, 23, during the April 1994 robbery at a Popeye's Chicken & Biscuits restaurant in Gadsden.

    The lone survivor, Bryant Archer, was shot four times. Archer identified Melson as the one who fired the shots. Prosecutors said Peraita planned the crime.

    Peraita was sentenced to life in prison but joined Melson on Death Row in 2001 after he was convicted of taking part in the 1999 stabbing death of fellow Holman Prison inmate Quincy Lewis.

    Ronald Bert Smith

    Smith, who has been on death row since Oct. 6, 1995, was convicted in Madison County in the November 1994 slaying of Circle C convenience store clerk Casey Wilson during a robbery. A judge overrode a jury recommendation for life without parole and imposed the death penalty.

    Smith and two others were charged with capital murder in the killing.

    One of Smith's co-defendants, Jay Allen Zuercher, was sentenced to life in prison with parole possible in 10 years. The other, Chad Roundtree, accepted a reduced charge in exchange for his testimony. He pleaded guilty to felony murder and was sentenced to 20 years with parole possible in less than 10.

    John Palombi, Assistant Federal Defender for the Middle District of Alabama, represents Melson and Smith. "We have received the motions to set execution dates and will be responding to them. We believe that these motions are premature in light of the questionable constitutionality of Alabama's death sentencing scheme," he said.

    that capital murder cases of four men she presides over. The ruling only affects her court, unless it were upheld by appellate courts.

    Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange vowed to appeal and have Todd's ruling reversed.

    The attorney for Madison had not responded to a request for comment prior to publication of this story.

    http://www.al.com/news/birmingham/in...ution_dat.html
    Judicial Review isn't in the Constitution.

  7. #7
    Senior Member CnCP Legend Mike's Avatar
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    Fall execution dates set for 2 Alabama Death Row inmates

    The Alabama Supreme Court today set execution dates this fall for death row inmates Tommy Arthur and Ronald Bert Smith Jr.

    The court set Arthur's execution for Nov. 3 at Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore and Smith's for Dec. 8.

    Smith, who has been on death row since Oct. 6, 1995, was convicted in Madison County in the November 1994 slaying of Circle C convenience store clerk Casey Wilson during a robbery. A judge overrode a jury recommendation for life without parole and imposed the death penalty.

    Smith and two others were charged with capital murder in the killing.

    One of Smith's co-defendants, Jay Allen Zuercher, was sentenced to life in prison with parole possible in 10 years. The other, Chad Roundtree, accepted a reduced charge in exchange for his testimony. He pleaded guilty to felony murder and was sentenced to 20 years with parole possible in less than 10.

    The Alabama Attorney General's Office in February had asked the Alabama Supreme Court to set execution dates for Smith and two other inmates - Vernon Madison and Bryant Melson.

    An execution date was set for Madison, but was stayed hours before the execution time.

    http://www.al.com/news/birmingham/in...set_for_2.html
    Judicial Review isn't in the Constitution.

  8. #8
    Senior Member CnCP Legend Mike's Avatar
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    The jury vote for Smith was 7-5.

    Ronald Bert Smith, Jr., was charged with and convicted of the capital murder of Casey Wilson.   The jury recommended, by a vote of 7 to 5, a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.   The trial judge, however, sentenced him to death.

    Also the crime was being taped by a camera.

    In Part IX of its opinion, the Court of Criminal Appeals addressed the admission of testimony by Officer Renfroe in which he narrated to the jury what he understood to be depicted on a videotape of the incident during which the killing occurred;  that videotape was made by security-surveillance cameras mounted inside the premises where the killing occurred.   Although Officer Renfroe did investigate the incident and did extensively examine the scene, he had not been present during the incident to observe it personally.   Nonetheless, the trial court, over the defendant's objections, allowed Officer Renfroe to describe not only the physical layout and features of the scene but also the positions, movements, and actions of the people participating in the incident.  

    http://caselaw.findlaw.com/al-suprem...t/1116796.html

    It seems that AL is only giving execution dates to people who have no claim to innocence.
    Judicial Review isn't in the Constitution.

  9. #9
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    No doubt he is guilty, but he seems to have a good chance at the SC in light of Hurst?
    Love your enemies...they hate it

  10. #10
    Senior Member CnCP Legend Mike's Avatar
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    The Alabama Supreme Court has already ruled that the Hurst ruling won't affect their sentencing system.
    Judicial Review isn't in the Constitution.

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