Death Row pensioner’s lawyers say lethal injection would have ‘tortured’ killer

America's oldest Death Row resident will live to while away another day after his lethal injection appointment was botched at the last minute yesterday (April 21).

And now his lawyers are demanding an immediate investigation into the cocktail of drugs set to be used which they assert would have 'tortured' their client.

Triple killer Oscar Smith was set to die for murdering his estranged wife Judith Smith and her sons Jason Burnett, 13, and Chad Burnett, 16, inside their home in Nashville, Tennessee, USA, on October 1, 1989 but was saved at the last minute.

According to Governor Bill Lee, Smith's reprieve was "due to an oversight in preparation for lethal injection."

He continued: "I am granting a temporary reprieve while we address Tennessee Department of Correction protocol. Further details will be released when they are available."

The nature of lethal injections is one of the utmost precision and any problems in the build-up can have unexpected and torturous consequences for the recipient.

Reacting to the news, Smith's lawyer Kelley Henry, Supervisory Assistant Federal Public Defender said: "The governor did the right thing by stopping what was sure to be the torture of our client.

"A thorough investigation should immediately take place by an independent entity."

Smith's other lawyer Amy Harwell recounted the moment the killer had received the news.

She said: "Mr. Smith's body visibly just sort of slumped with relief, he and his spiritual adviser gave thanks to God.

"We have already sent a demand to the department of corrections that the preserve all of the drugs, all of the packaging, all of the inserts, all of the tubing anything that was used or was going to be used in tonight's execution.

"The first drug of the cocktail the Midazolam does not prevent pain. It does not actually of surgical anesthesia. And so we were already deeply troubled by this process."

  • World's oldest death row inmate executed 32 years after killing cop

Prior to his botched death sentence, Smith gorged on his massive final meal of a double bacon cheeseburger, a deep-dish apple pie and vanilla bean ice cream.

He was set to be the first person executed in Tennessee during the Covid pandemic.

It is now thought Smith will be executed in June.

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