Stop the Execution of Willie Smith in Alabama

Governor Kay Ivey

UPDATE at 11:41 CST on Feb 11, 2021: Willie Smith's scheduled execution in Alabama has been called off. For now. Please continue to sign this petition.

Willie Smith was scheduled to be killed for the 1991 murder of Sharma Ruth Johnson, who was the sister of a Birmingham police detective. The issue that stopped the execution was NOT his intellectual disability, but whether he could have his pastor in the room with him when they kill him.  

Smith and his attorneys have been appealing his conviction and asking for clemency due to various claims, including that his original trial lawyers provided ineffective assistance 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 presented it as 72.

Attorneys for Smith have an ongoing lawsuit against the state prison system challenging the lethal injection procedure as unconstitutionally cruel. They also argued Smith’s intellectual disability prevented him from understanding what was at stake when the state gave inmates a short window to select hydrogen hypoxia as their preferred execution method.

Please sign the petition asking Governor Ivey to do everything within her power to stop this execution, including issuing a stay, and seeking a path to clemency in the case.

Petitions will be delivered on your behalf if and when a new execution date is set..

Sponsored by

To: Governor Kay Ivey
From: [Your Name]

We are writing to ask that you to stop the execution of Willie B. Smith III for the 1991 murder of Sharma Ruth Johnson.

Smith and his attorneys have been appealing his conviction and asking for clemency due to various claims, including that his original trial lawyers provided ineffective assistance and that he shouldn’t be executed because he is intellectually disabled with an IQ of 64.

Furthermore, we are concerned that while the vast majority of states with capital punishment continue on a downward trend of executions, Alabama has continued to go against trend by carrying on with scheduling execution dates.

We, the undersigned, ask that you do everything within your power to stop this execution, including issuing a stay, and seeking a path to clemency in the case.

Thank you for your time and attention to this serious matter.