Alabama man put to death for 1991 killing of woman

Death Penalty Alabama

ATMORE, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama man who avoided execution in February was put to death Thursday for the 1991 killing of a woman who was abducted during a robbery and then shot in a cemetery.

Willie B. Smith III, 52, received a lethal injection at a prison in southwest Alabama. He was pronounced dead at 9:47 p.m. local time.

The execution went forward after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a request for a stay by his lawyers, who had argued the execution should be blocked on grounds that Smith had an intellectual disability meriting further scrutiny by the courts.

Smith was convicted of kidnapping and murdering 22-year-old Sharma Ruth Johnson in Birmingham.