When Alabama prisoners are sometimes positioned on “dying watch” inside a correctional facility, they’re monitored by two guards, given the chance to write down a final will and testomony and partake of their closing meal within the afternoon.
However earlier this week officers mentioned that may not be the case for Kenneth Smith, who’s scheduled to be executed Thursday night for the 1988 homicide of 45-year-old pastor’s spouse Elizabeth Sennett in Colbert County.
Smith, officers mentioned, would obtain his final meal at 10am and wouldn’t be allowed to devour liquids after 4pm, roughly two hours earlier than the execution. Alabama inmates are supplied three meals a day.
The prisoner’s closing meal consisted of steak, hash browns and eggs, officers mentioned late Thursday.
The choice was made to scale back the probability that Smith might begin vomiting through the try and endure a “substantial danger of hurt”, in keeping with a federal court docket ruling issued Wednesday.
After Smith survived an preliminary execution try in 2022 through deadly injection, he elected to be put to dying by nitrogen hypoxia, a course of that slowly deprives prisoners of oxygen. Nonetheless, he’s beforehand famous a number of considerations with the untested technique, together with the probability that he might choke on his personal vomit.
Because of the failed try, Smith suffers from post-traumatic stress dysfunction. The prisoner mentioned he has spent the weeks main as much as the execution affected by retching and nausea.
In consequence, officers determined that Smith’s final meal could be breakfast, served eight hours earlier than he’s scheduled to be put to dying.
The method of serving a prisoner their closing meal in Alabama is often organised by William C Holman Correctional Facility Warden Terry Raybon. That’s the place most dying row inmates spend their closing days earlier than officers administer the dying penalty.
Primarily based on the state’s execution protocol, all meals consumed by dying row inmates is to be ready by the mess steward on obligation. Fellow inmates wouldn’t be capable to assist in the preparation of his meals and members of the family usually are not allowed to deliver exterior meals or drinks into the power.
Prisoners are knowledgeable of various choices obtainable for his or her final meal after which make a choice. If receiving guests, inmates can devour their meal within the visitation space whereas household and mates are capable of buy snacks from close by merchandising machines.
If prisoners select to eat alone, their meals might be delivered to their statement cell, with the meal choice to be famous within the execution log, together with the time meals is served, its contents, an approximate quantity and the identification of the people delivering the meal.
In a press release, the Equal Justice Initiative, an organisation dedicated to ending mass incarceration, expressed concern on the prospect of Smith probably being denied meals for 20 hours. A current legislation provides officers till 6am on Friday to manage the dying penalty.
“Fairly than postpone the execution till Mr Smith’s vomiting is resolved, the State modified its protocol on the final minute to deprive Mr Smith of any meals after 10am on Thursday with a purpose to protect their capability to execute Mr Smith this week,” the organisation mentioned.